At times your child may go through a time period where they canít get to sleep. It could be that they have so much going on in their mind, that itís difficult for them to settle. Rather than having them toss and turn all night; it may be best to allow them to wind down by reading a little before going to sleep; or they may like that you read to them instead.
Children sometimes find it difficult to fall asleep
If this doesn't help, there could be an underlying reason why they can't get to sleep.It may be due to a recent experience that is bothering them. For example; they may have seen something on television that scared them. You will find that even animated shows contain questionable content.
Its important to try and get your child to open up about anything that may be troubling them and help them deal with it so that they feel secure.
I had a similar situation with my nine year old son. He saw a cartoon involving mutilated bodies that were re-assembled using different body parts, then stitched up. I couldnít believe it when he told me about this well known childrens program. I even lodged a complaint because it is worrying to think that such disturbing content is being used in children's shows. I decided to seek some help from a psychologist; mainly to get some perspective on effective ways to approach the problem.
A possible way forward
A suggested approach was to get the child to write down all of the things that troubled them on pieces of paper and place them in a box. Then, when they felt comfortable; they would take a paper out of the box and talk about what they had written on the paper. In my case; my child was quite open about what was troubling him; however, for children who find it difficult to open up about whatís troubling them; the ďworry boxĒ may be worth a try.
Itís been two years since my sonís incident. At times he will bring it up and we will talk it through. He acknowledges that people are generally afraid of something in their life time; and that itís best to try and face and accept that he doesnít like it (in this case, mutilated bodies that have been stitched up). By doing this, he is in a way creating a file in his mind to put it away so that it doesnít take over his every thought. He is also dealing with it by being very selective about what he watches on TV.
Reading his favourite book or kids magazine also helps. He has a very active mind, so he finds that reading just before bed helps him relax before falling asleep.
What has worked in your household to help your child fall asleep when their mind is still active?