Most of us parents have kissed our kids good-night, tucked them in bed, turned out the light and instructed them to be quiet and go to sleep. Right? Ok, that works for some children especially if they are really tired. However, for many children this strategy simply does not work very well and parents are likely to become exhausted with the battles that follow.
Newer brain research regarding light trance and clinical hypnosis for children shows that, for many children, the way they relax is simple play. For parents of these children what seems to work best is to do the normal bedtime routine, leave a soft light on, give him/her a couple favorite toys (saved for this time of day) and tell the child that you will check on them in a little while. Many times within a half hour the child will be asleep. Sometimes reading will do the same thing.
The same thing may be tried for adult insomniacs. Get totally ready for bed a little before normal bedtime and be aware when hour body begin to calm and quiet. That is the time to turn the light out and go to sleep. This one may take a little practice. It also helps to establish a healthy sleep pattern to go to bed within 30 minutes of the same time every night and get up also at the same time.
Keep a diary about our sleep for one week. Measure the amount of time in bed and the actual time asleep. You can determine how much sleep you or your child actually need this way. Decide what time you need to get up and count backward to find the time you should go to bed.
Children go into a light trance when they play. That is why they do not always hear the parents when they get called to a task or even a meal. They are simply so engrossed in their play that they do not hear the voice of the one calling them. When they are this engrossed it helps if parents will go into their room and touch them on the hand or shoulder telling them that dinner will be in 10 minutes. You can also tell them that they can play for another half hour and then they need to load the dishwasher or take out the trash.
I do not believe in yelling at children. I don’t like to be yelled at and I don’t think it is an effective tool for children either. Giving them some time to wrap things up in their play is respectful and children feel more control over what they are asked to do. (330)
Remember too that the mind follows the path of the dominate word. We always want to tell children what to do rather than what not to do. Examples:
Good: be careful
Poor: don’t fall
Good: Stay close to me in the crowd
Poor: Do not wander off you will get lost
Good: Keep your clothes clean until church
Poor: Don’t get dirty before church
Remember children have a vivid and busy imagination. Parents may have to be sure they get eye contact before asking their child to do something or telling them something they need to know.
Children work out many of their problems through play. They need time to relax and play to fully develop their creativity. Their imagination is a valuable tool and in that realm, they can do anything. Support that with, “Wow that sounds amazing” rather than “that’s just crazy “or “that cannot happen.”
The imagination opens awesome potential in the minds of children and should be supported. A child’s potential is unlocked when you help them to develop positive intentions and harness the natural ability t the mind.
I was appalled the other day when I heard someone on a radio talk show says that parents should not read to their children because it gave them an unfair advantage over other children. To that, I simply say, “That is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever heard.” In today’s competitive world, children need every advantage they can have. Parenting creates the power of the future. We only get a short time to get it done well!
For more information on the power of imagination in children: see the section related to “Hypnosis with Children” in another area of this website.
For more parenting tips, see the “Power Point Presentation” under the Families section of the website. This valuable information is taken from the book by Dr. Kevin Leman, “Have a New Kid by Friday.”