So, all this rambling just to tell you that I’ve found a couple things that have helped lately AND I’ve been seriously reading up on “bedtime fears”…hopefully, this will help some of you too!
Five night lights might seem like overkill…but, really…if it helps, who cares? The Mobi GloMates (shown above) are great because they sit right on juniors bed and if they need to get off, they can grab it off the charger and it still lights up…it’s also great for power outages. AND…it turns off automatically.
I know some parents like to use “monster spray” and other methods to keep the monsters away…but, I am pretty hesitant about it…even though a bottle of it would be pretty darn cute. I want my kids to know that monsters aren’t real. I will happily check under their beds, in their closets, and under their covers for whatever they may be afraid of…but, I can’t bring myself to validate their fear…even if it brings temporary relief.
Don’t Create Fears To Keep Them In Bed
I’m hoping that’s just common sense. But, seriously…why create fears when kids already struggle enough? Telling kids that the boogie man will get them, that an alligator lives under their bed, or that “bad guys” will see them through the windows if they get up…that’s mean. AND…could lead to some bigger problems….socially and/or emotionally. We want fears to go away, not be there.
Create Calming & Happy Distractions
Besides audio books, music works well too! Let them listen to calm music (despite their constant plea for Aerosmith and Def Leppard)…think Enya, religious music, or a playlist that you put together.
White noise or constant background noise is a great way to drown out the sounds of the creaky floors, squeaky bed in mom & dad’s room, and the “bad guy” trying to break into the house.
One of Amazon’s top rated products of all time…the Marpac SleepMate. You won’t find any white noise machine recommended more!
Don’t Let The Kids Watch Scary Shows
As common sense as this is, it’s my hardest one. Shane is fascinated with cops and loves to see the criminal punks get what’s coming in those reality shows. I find him curled up on the bed with The Beard Man…both of them enthralled with the madness and I guess I’m a weakling because at least half the time I don’t stop it. Bad me, bad me, bad me. But, if it makes me sound any better…I haven’t let him watch The Silence of the Lambs, The Exorcist, or Friday the 13th. So, as for this tip…working on it.
Keep Them In Their Beds
I don’t care where my kids sleep in the house, as long as it’s not MY room. The hubs and I promised each other a long time ago that our bed is OUR bed. Our room is OUR room. Our time to be together is special to us and benefits our kids more than they know! Sure, I’ve let the sicky-pants or the scaredy-cat pull up a sleeping bag on my floor…maybe twice a year. But, it’s not allowed on any sort of frequent basis, ever. Also, I’m not sleeping in their room…laying by them until they fall asleep…no way…I sleep by my husband, that’s all. Of all the things I do and provide to help them sleep peacefully, they need to find peace with that. Maybe I’m mean…hmmm. Anyway, the more the kid sleeps away from mom and dad the sooner they realize that they are okay. Another option, let them sleep with the dog.
There’s nothing wrong with a little incentive for staying on their bed. Make them a fun chart that they can put a sticker on in the morning. Sometimes I think fears can easily transition into bad habits. When they used to be scared, now they’re not…but, getting off the bed, getting lots of cuddles, sleeping in mommy’s room…who would want to give that up?? Not me. My kids are almost always motivated with charts. Be creative!
So, there you have it. Some expert advice mixed with some crazy rambling mother’s experience and opinion. Take what you will and be sure to share any of your ideas too because I’m not quite out of the woods, yet. May we all get some sleep tonight.