So, your kid won’t sleep.
Or, won’t sleep without you right there.
Or, your kiddo gets to sleep, only to wake up every night plagued by nightmares.
Everyone acts like once your kid will sleep through the night, or sleep in her own bed, or not need to be rocked to sleep, our parenting struggles are over.
The truth is, they aren’t.
We can think our kid is 100% fine until we start finding them curled up at the end of our bed, each morning. We didn’t even know there was a problem, until there is one.
All of our kids are different, so the possibilities of what might be going on are endless.
But, there are common threads.
Each of the kids I’ve spoken to in the past week are all highly sensitive. They have untapped intuitive abilities. Sometimes the reality we exist in is simply too much for these kids. They need support to be the best version of themselves.
That’s what we’re here for, right?
Here are some tools to add to your toolbox the next time your kid has lost their mind at bed time, or you find them in their sibling’s bed in the morning.
1. Increase physical activity
Our kids are leading, for the most part, sedentary lifestyles. PE time is being cut at school for more math and reading. We schedule them into activities after school, but they get burnt out.
Whether the kids are playing at a park afterschool, going for a family bike ride or in a more structured activity, make sure they are getting 20-30 minutes of activity DAILY.
I could write five pages about why this is beneficial, but I’ll spare you the details.
Not only are kids not getting enough activity, they are over the top stimulated at every turn. Technology is the biggest culprit here. Whether the kids are toddlers or teens, if they are having trouble sleeping, this can make a massive difference.
All screens give off light that triggers our brains to stay awake. Consider cutting ALL technology an hour before bedtime. Create a time for a shower/bath, to talk about your favorite parts of the day, to set intentions for the next day…whatever feels good to you. This ritual can help your kiddo’s brains chill out from all the input throughout the day.
3. Create a Crystal Grid (or imagine one)
Crystals can be a powerful ally. Each stone carries a specific vibration. Guess what? So do our emotions. Utilizing crystals in our kid’s bedrooms can be a fun AND supportive way to help them sleep better.
If you don’t have crystals around, or aren’t into them, you can do the same thing with your mind. Visualize the crystals you’d use and where you would put them. Imagine the effect they would have.
You can create a grid without crystals all with the power of your mind. Crazy to consider, right?
If I have crystals, I usually use black tourmaline and rose quartz. This combo offers grounding, protection and love. For kids who have bad dreams, what better a combination could you ask for?
To create a grid, I like to put the stones between the mattress and boxspring/frame. You can simply slide them in on the corners (one of each per corner). The size and texture of the stones don’t matter. Letting your kid pick out what he likes will empower him in the process, so DO include him!
4. Use Guided Meditation
Meditation is brilliant for helping us to chill out and relax.
But, there is another benefit that no one ever talks about.
Our pineal gland is responsible for our melatonin production. When it gets dark, we start to produce more and less as it gets light again.
You won’t find this in an anatomy text book, but our pineal gland is also known as our “third” eye and is said to be the seat of psychic abilities.
If we stimulate this tiny gland, that even looks like an eyeball, we can trick it into producing more melatonin.
Think about it, how many times have you tried meditating, but fell asleep?
Using a guided meditation as a part of a bedtime ritual can help get that melatonin naturally pumping, in no time.
5. Use Essential Oils (maybe)
I say this with caution because I am well aware of the negative effects some oils can have. Kids have ended up with chemical burns because the oils were not used appropriately.
The myriad of people on your own social media selling these oils is, surely, staggering. Unfortunately, the Big Two companies aren’t training their purveyors in safety and chemical reactions, only in sales.
If you work with a health practitioner or aromatherapist, they can help you choose a safe brand and create your own blend in a carrier oil. Most are not safe to apply directly to skin, much less children’s sensitive skin. You can check out Samantha Mant’s blog for her take on oils, as a naturopath.
Some oils are not even meant for inhalation from a diffuser.
That being said, any oils that are calming can be a tremendous asset at bedtime and become a part of the nightly routine.
Until I tried this technique for myself, I thought the people using it were completely mental. There was no way that tapping on a few spots on your face and body could help with emotional or stress issues.
Based on principles similar to acupuncture/acupressure, tapping (or EFT) releases emotion that is pent up in our bodies.
If your kids are anxious before bed, this is a quick and easy technique to use to help them to calm down.
Another cool part about it is that it programs our subconscious. After a while, you might not even need to use this anymore.
I love to write things down when I am stressed. The physical process of writing is scientifically-proven to help us process our emotions.
This may not work for the three year old who is freaking out, but it may for the fourteen year old who lies awake for hours each night.
The spelling, grammar, punctuation don’t matter. All that matters is your kiddo getting down whatever is running through her head, keeping her awake. Writing in stream of consciousness (whatever pops in, comes out on paper) can be especially helpful.
The journal pages never have to be re-read, maybe your kids even rip them out and throw them away when they are finished.
8. Handle Your Biz
These sensitive kids pick up on everything.
If we are tired, stressed, irritable, off-kilter, they will know it.
Chances are, they have no idea what they are feeling or where it is coming from, but they feel uneasy.
So, when I say handle your biz, I’m talking about taking care of YOU.
Manage your stress, take some time to do some guided meditations, journal, chillax, dance like no one is watching, create a peaceful bedtime routine for yourself.