Children can be unpredictable at times, and their night-time routine can change every day based on their mood, likes and dislikes. But, parents do not have to always remain by their side till they fall asleep at night, provided there is a proper routine in place which benefits everyone. After all, given the ongoing global health crisis, most parents are having to balance both their work life and their kids from home, and may need some respite as well.
Speaking exclusively to Express Parenting, Pamela ‘Puja’ Kirpalani, a master NLP practitioner, trainer & neuro-coach behind Inner High Living — a Singapore-based life consulting and coaching practice — and a certified Integrated Eye Movement Therapist and sleeptalk consultant for kids, says that a healthy bedtime routine has a few stages, and that it is important to set the mood by indulging in some activities for 5-10 minutes. “After brushing their teeth and changing, they can unwind by doing activities like reading or playing a puzzle on the bed, or playing with play dough, depending on their age, of course. Sometimes a parent can put on some relaxation music — there’s lot of fun things that parents can do to get their kids to wind down,” she says during the online interaction.
Kirpalani has two children, and she likes to offer them a choice, whether they want lavender oil rubbed on their feet, or a back-scratch — something to wind them down a bit. She also likes to take them through a Yoga Nidra, which she calls the second stage of the routine. “I basically get them away from thoughts about the outside world and get them to internalise a bit. We have Yoga Nidra which enables us to go within; we gain awareness of the body, of the different body parts,” she says.
Kirpalani says it is essential for the mind and the body to calm down and relax.
She goes on to say that just as the child is drifting off, they can be given affirmations that can help their mind to stay relaxed.
Kirpalani stresses that bedtime is an excellent time to connect and bond with your child. “It is also a good time to get in touch with yourself. The child is receptive to affirmations… So they can reprogram their subconscious mind by creating a more effective form, for installing positive messages to them,” she says.
Children are also believed to ask their deepest questions, right before they sleep, so it is imperative that parents give them that time. But, Kirpalani also says that it is okay for children to feel afraid during this time, and parents must not dismiss their fears, but instead validate their feelings.
Parents are feeling stressed, too. So, where and how should they draw the line and strike a balance?
“It’s very well known with my kids that I will only spend 20 minutes with them in the bedroom. Beyond that, whether they are asleep or not, I am out. I always kept my boundaries firm; just because you are putting them to sleep doesn’t mean you need to be there until they fall asleep,” she reasons.
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