A L.O.V.E. Parenting Technique that has been helpful for many of my clients has been to facilitate the bedtime routine in two locations. Rather than include the stimulation of books, lullabies, made-up stories, and talking in the bedroom, do these activities in another room, perhaps on the couch in the living room, and let the bedroom be a place for sleep only.
Set the bedroom up for slumber with the curtains drawn, the covers pulled back, the lights off, and perhaps soft classical music playing and/or a nightlight on. The energy of this room should be like a sanctuary, a spa, or a yoga class. Once you enter this inviting room, sleep becomes less of something you are trying to get your child to do, and more of a beautiful, beckoning environment you are inviting him to surrender to.
Ask that once you enter the bedroom and lay down, eyes are closed and mouths are closed because that is what is needed to facilitate sleep; reframe these actions as ones to help “sleep” get what it needs, rather than something your child “has to do.”
Ideally, begin your bedtime routine cuddled on the couch, under a blanket and sharing a special slowing-down, decompression-from-the-day time with your child. Once the previously agreed upon number of books, songs, and stories are completed, you can tell your child that the dream angels and fairies are asleep in his room and waiting for him to join them. After a “final pee,” take a purposefully meditative walk to the bedroom together.
Once your child is in bed, you can lay with him, sit in a chair in the room or kiss him goodnight and retire.
About Jessica Williams
Jessica Williams created L.O.V.E. Parenting with a series of techniques for effective communication, deepened connection and more joy in parenting and life. Jessica is also the creator of www.UltimateParentingCourse.com with the best of today's progressive parenting experts together in one program. Jessica is a featured expert internationally on both Mothering.com’s Ask An Expert and the upcoming www.KidsInTheHouse.com. Jessica is a regular contributor to Mothering Magazine’s All Things Mothering, LA Parent Magazine, LA Mom Magazine & DailyBuzzMoms. She has been interviewed on television and radio and taught workshops at family wellness centers, schools and doctor’s offices. Her BirthKit has helped women have a transformational & empowering birth. Jessica maintains a private coaching practice in her native Los Angeles where she lives with her husband and their three children. “Truly amazing woman. I love her advice.”—Carrie-Anne Moss. “All you have shared has helped tremendously.”—Lisa Bonet. “I am experiencing nothing short of a miracle thanks to your laser beam approach.” –Andrea Bendewald.