With all the technology, there are some children consumed by worry and anxiety and they can’t get to sleep or stay asleep for enough time. 7.1% or children aged 3-17 years of age are anxious, recent studies show. Feeling safe and secure can make a big difference for those children plagued with concerns about the welfare of themselves and their families.
A bedtime routine can be really stressful for most parents, but these days, we have a variety of tech and tools to choose from. There are gadgets such as sound machines and meditation recordings to aromatherapy and story time that can help parents with children get their little ones to sleep.
We have found several tips to help add elements of safety and security into your daily nighttime routine in order to reduce the bedtime anxiety and get a night of better sleep, both you and your children.
Safety and Security – the Most Important Before Bedtime
Sleep-deprived children are cranky, irritable and all these moods can lead to depression. They may even develop physical reactions such as headaches and stomach aches.
The symptoms of anxiety revolve around the child’s developmental stage, the experts say.
“Toddlers and preschoolers haven’t yet learned the difference between reality and make-believe,” writes Julia Higginson of the Alaska Sleep Education Center. This is how the fear of monsters and mythical creatures is explained by the little children. They believe all these creatures are real.
Fear is triggered in shcool-aged children by their imagination caused by fears movies, books, and other media. Furthermore, school children know more about bad and good and they are often scared by the bad things that could happen to their family members while they are asleep.
Familiarize Your Child With Your Home Security System and Help Him Lose the Anxiety
As part of the bedtime routine, do a security walk-through with your child. You can check the doors, the windows and teach him how to activate/deactivate the alarm system if he is big enough to be responsible for it. A camera system, or a doorbell camera or leaving the outdoor security floodlight on may be just several routine activities that can help your child with its anxiety.
Talk to your children about the importance of alarm system and the importance of keeping the alarm system’s code private. He should know this information is not to be shared with other people outside the family.
Let your children make his own suggestions. It will be helpful for him to offer his contributions.
The walk-through, which shows your child how secure and prepared your home is, is meant to give children with anxiety a sense of control and understanding over their circumstances, not ignite more fear. If you sense increased anxiety from your child during the security walk-through, redirect and try other ways to acknowledge and manage fears.
Safe and Warm Bedroom Space
The room in which the child sleeps must be a calming place. He shouldn’t have external stimuli that could disturb his sleep. A source of light near the window may cause even more anxiety.
Use dramatic play, talk about his fears and even incorporate silliness and playfulness in your discussion with your child. Don’t make a habit to check the monster under the bed or in the closet.
A child’s sense of ownership, responsibility, and control over the home’s safety and security will give them an attitude of confidence, thereby reducing nighttime anxiety. Allowing the child to perform the bedtime security walk-through and inviting them to add input in the routine helps instill this confidence.