Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Sometimes children show their need for reconnection at nighttime.  Perhaps because they are busy playing throughout the day or you are a working parent.  If it seems like the root of your child's sleep problem is wanting you or needing security, here are a few ideas of ways you can reconnect.

1.  Make special time for your child with both parents before bedtime.  Split up the bedtime routine and have one parent do bath and the other read stories if possible.  Giving your child one on one time with each parent in two parent households can help him feel like he is connected with both, thus reestablishing or strengthening his bond with each.

2.  Have playtime with your child.  Before you begin your bedtime routine, get on the floor and lay with your child for at least half an hour.  Let them direct your play.  Lawrence J. Cohen calls this playful parenting and believes it helps a child work through tough emotion or stresses they are facing.  This also helps you to reconnect with your child in a healthy way before bedtime and may reduce nighttime sleep problems.

3.  Consider the family bed.  There is no parenting rule that says toddlers and preschoolers can't stay in the family bed if you are comfortable with it.  Many gentle parents encourage children under 5 to continue sleeping with parents.  If you are open to it, you might consider reading The Family Bed, which is an excellent resource on the topic.



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