Separation Ritual
Many parents doubt the strength of nature to put their children to sleep. They think that nature exists in nature and the modern world long ago stopped going to sleep with the moonlight and getting up at sunrise. Kids today, it seems, are easily distracted with so much stimulation and therefore, anyways cannot distinguish the internal motivation which signals them to put their heads down every night at eight.
 
I don’t know how influential these stimulation are, but I certainly know that it is not wise to add additional stimulation that have the power to delay the time we go to bed and the time our children go to bed. My contention is that additional Stimulation , different than familiar stimulation , are those that keep us from falling asleep and from sleeping as long as we should.
What are these additional Stimulation ?
Children tend to ask for all sorts of things after we put them in bed and kiss them good night;
 
Mommy, I want water.
Daddy, help me put the covers on.
Mommy, what are you doing? And so forth.


These requests are significant in the process of putting kids to sleep, yet for many parents, it is precisely this separation ceremony that our children prepare for us that is seen as testing boundaries.
This is where parents feel pressured and think that the right thing to do is to immediately set limits. Yet when they try to do so, they mostly do it in a way that insults the child (whether truthfully or as a manipulation) and then the battle starts; the child doesn’t know how to disentangle himself from the situation and certainly not how to fall asleep in its wake.

From a child’s eyes:
There is nothing which puts me to sleep more than knowing my parents love me, and nothing which wakes me up better than knowing my parents are disappointed in me.

My approach is like this (let’s assume this is my daughter):

You want water - here it is.
You want a fan - here’s the fan.
You want to pee - come pee.
You want another kiss - here’s another kiss.


I let myself tell her how busy and tired I am and would be happy if she would call me less, but I don’t stimulate her by:

I told you already.
I gave you already.
Sorry…what’s not clear?
Why do I need to say everything ten times?
Why are you taking off the blanket?


These are the additional stimulation and they are the stimulation that can delay sleep for many long hours. The “separation ceremony” on the other hand, is a process that has a beginning and an end (a quick one, by the way) and again … if we know how to avoid provoking psychological conflicts in our children.




 
 

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