Do you have a hard time getting young kids into bed? Do your older children hate to let go of their devices at bedtime? Get your child to sleep through the night with these amazing types of stories.
What is keeping your child wide awake at night? It used to be a toy or a cartoon on TV. But these days, just about every parent has difficulty asking their children to put down a gadget.
It doesn’t matter what time of the day it is, upon waking up or before going to sleep, most kids are always fiddling with a gadget. How to get kids off electronics is a real struggle.
The National Sleep Foundation reported that kids aged six through 17 are not getting enough quality sleep.
The culprit? 72% of these kids sleep with at least one electronic device in the bedroom.
You may also be interested in these posts:
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*The Easiest Way to End Bedtime Battles
So you ask: how is sleep and gadget related? The light that the device emits promotes wakefulness. When our eyes sense light and dark, our brain automatically aligns our circadian rhythms or body clock.
Light means you need to be alert while dark means we have to fall asleep. Light from electronic devices suppress melatonin, a hormone that promotes sleep.
In simple terms, if you want your kids to sleep earlier and faster, distractions such as smartphones, laptops, game consoles, and the TV set should be turned off and put away.
Help your kids ditch their gadgets by going back to the basics—storytelling. Stories reinforce their imagination, send them to a different world, and help them relax.
So what bedtime stories should you tell them? Get your child to sleep through the night with these amazing stories, which include my affiliate links.
1. Recap Your Day
Sometimes, stories have to be as simple as “how was your day.” Parents should always make time to ask their kids about their activities in school or at home.
At the same time, parents should tell their own story. Make stories about meetings and conferences interesting by naming bosses and colleagues after comics, cartoon or Disney characters.
That way, your usually boring office life can be turned into a series of stories that will excite even children.
Example: The Wonderful Things You Will Be
2. Focus on Their Interests
One of the ways to manage children’s use electronic devices is by shifting focus to the child’s other interests.
Whatever your kid’s into—trucks, cars, dolls or fairies, could be a good premise for a story. Shake stories up every now and then and encourage your child to make inputs. With this, it doesn’t matter if it’s your 67the truck story.
3. Share childhood favorites
Among the ways to get your kids to sleep early is to tell them the stories that you liked as a kid.
If you liked “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” or “The Little Prince,” share these timeless tales to your child.
They may be old but as classic as they are, they will sound new to your child. It could be like your little secret, something that you have in common.
Example: The Boy Who Cried Wolf
4. Dream of the Outdoors
Children are a curious bunch. They want to know how it was during your day. They have a fondness for discovery.
Show them fun things to do without electronics such as the games you used to play outdoors. Make them feel excited about trying new things.
5. Talk About the Relationship Between Light and Sleep
Sometimes it is best to call a spade a spade. After all, you would be surprised at how smart kids are today. Tell them about how gadgets can affect their sleep.
Don’t bother with hormones and circadian rhythms. Simplify it with light and night.
Some of the facts to tell you kids about sleeping are about the consequences of not getting enough of it at their age. Don’t scare them, though. Just focus on how it can affect their focus in school and energy at play.
Example: Whoo’s There?: A Bedtime Shadow Book
6. Emphasize the Importance of Sleep
Children’s book authors know that the practical purpose of bedtime stories is to make a kid fall asleep. This is why there are thousands of books about sleep.
Most of them talk about the star in the story falling asleep. This will induce their longing to rest and sleep.
Example: Dr. Seuss’s Sleep Book
7. Encourage Teamwork
Coming up with a new plotline can be tough at times. Well, it shouldn’t be. Kids are very imaginative so let them help you.
Seek your child’s help to move the story forward by finishing a sentence or a sequence. This is one way to get your kids to sleep early because it is natural for them to get excited whenever they are a part of an activity.
8. Make Them the Star
Kids are such a fan of themselves. Why not capitalize on that?
One way to get your child to stop playing video games and gadgets is by making them heroes, much like the ones in video games.
Give them cool superpowers and send them off to a journey to the moon or the deep forest.
Example: Goodnight Moon
9. Personalize Their Space and Make it Comfortable
Make kids excited about bedtime by making their bedrooms a wonderland. Start off with a quality bed mattress. Shop for a foam mattress that suits your kids.
Decorate with things that they like such as glow-in-the-dark stickers, robots or fairies. This is how you can get kids to sleep in their own beds.
Make sure that their rooms reflect their personality so that you can also use it as visuals to aid your bedtime stories.
Example: I Love to Sleep in My Own Bed
10. End on a Happy Note
You don’t want your child to dream about bad wolves and wicked stepmothers.
Whatever story you have in mind, always end with “and they lived happily ever after.”
This is how you can make a kid fall asleep: reassure him and send positive thoughts along his way.
Example: Zee Is Not Scared
Putting kids to sleep is a constant struggle especially in the age of electronics. Beat the appeal of gadgets and video games by being creative with good old bedtime stories. Not only do you enrich your children’s knowledge, you also get the chance to bond and make unique memories with your precious little ones.
This post was written by John Anderson, Freelance Writer for Executive Street.