A Giggle Parenting Song To Help Your Kids Sleep

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So you’ve got your child ready for bed. Bath and a bedtime story, teeth and pyjamas are all done. Except there’s just one problem. Your child is full of energy, and ready to giggle rather than sleep.

Here’s a fun way you can help them release that last minute burst of energy. Tell your child, that you’re going to sing them a lullaby to help them sleep. You can start off by singing something in a slow sleepy voice like, ”and now it’s time to slowly close our eyes…” to give the impression that it’s going to be a very slow song, and then surprise them with an upbeat line like, .”..and then jump on the bed!”

This is a sure-fire invitation for your child to start jumping on the bed in a lively way. You can act all surprised that you sang that line, and say something like, ”hey that’s not how my song goes. I wanted a sleep song, not a jumping on the bed song!”

Tell your child you’re going to try again, and then start with the sleeply line, and surprise them again with another action line, like running out of the room, running and say hi-bye to your dad, pulling socks out of mummy’s sock drawer.

Each time come up with a crazy suggestion that is going to make your child laugh, while you act all confused about why the song isn’t coming out right. You can chase your child around the house to playfully get them back to bed and let them have the most powerful role as the giggles flow.

If this is all sounds completely wild and crazy to add to your bedtime routine, then here’s the science bit, about why laughter actually helps children sleep. And this is my introductory post about Giggle Parenting, and why beneath all that raucous play with your child you are actually building the connection they need to co-operate with you in the future. And here’s why I think staying up a little bit later to laugh, or listen to tears, can actually have benefits for your child’s overall wellbeing.

If you’re new to Giggle Parenting your child might want to play for quite a while, but if you add it in on a regular basis, your child will get their dose of wild and laughter, and won’t want to stay up playing till midnight! Check out my Giggle Parenting Archives, for more fun ways to add it into you family life.

Have you got a family challenge you’d like a Giggle Parenting solution for. Leave me a comment or send me a message on facebook, and your challenge could be the subject of my next blog post! 

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Could Being Listened To Improve Your Health?

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My grandmother lived till she was 93. This was kind of surprising considering she smoked almost her entire life. Her diet was reasonably healthy, but she never denied herself treats, or nightcaps to help her sleep. She didn’t ingest green smoothies, or superfoods on a daily basis. So what was it that was keeping her alive?

As I grew older I began to realise; it was her positive attitude and love of live. She was always happy and full of joy. She lost her beloved husband in her early fifties, but she didn’t collapse into grief and negativity. She got drunk and stayed up till 2am with a fellow teacher from the school she worked at. Then she learnt to drive to give herself more freedom. She retired and travelled, exploring art and culture in Europe. She was passionate about politics and making the world a better place. She continued her education by taking courses in Psychology and literature. She embraced life, even as she got older and her physical world was smaller, her mind was very much alive.

Research links our negative thoughts and feelings to poor health. In fact stress is the cause of over 60% of illnesses. It’s possible that happiness could even add ten years to your life.

It can seem as if some people are born happy, and breeze through life’s twists and turns with a positive attitude. While others suffer from low mood and negative thought even when their life is relatively smooth. Genes do play a part when it comes to happiness, as do childhood experiences. It’s been found that children who experience ‘adverse childhood experiences’ are more likely to have health problems when they are older. (see research here.)

However we don’t have to be at the mercy of our genes, or our childhood experiences. There’s still a lot we can do to reduce stress levels, improve our happiness and our health.

Listening time is a powerful tool to help us to do so. If you read my blog regularly you’ll know all about this life-changing tool. If not, here’s a brief summary of how it works. Two people come together to talk and listen about how their lives are going. As each person talks, they may naturally be led to laugh, and cry as they release stress and tension. As I’ve written about in my book Tears Heal crying is a healing process, and there are stress hormones contained in tears. When we cry we are literally releasing stress from our bodies. Laughter too has health benefits including boosting our immune system and releasing feel-good endorphins.

So could being listened to improve our health? Research show that having a healthy social life benefits our health, and that social isolation can cause premature death. (see links here). The research suggests that it’s really the quality of the relationship that leads to the benefits. When we share listening time we are really experiencing a high quality of relationship with each other. We share our greatest joys and deepest sorrows with someone who is fully focused on listening to us. Listening time is designed to help us release our feelings so the giggle and tear factor is a lot higher than your average, everyday conversation.

I remember going to a parenting retreat with a cold that I just couldn’t seem to shift. After 2 days of being listened to my symptoms had completely disappeared. I’ve also noticed that when my daughter’s feeling  well, getting the giggles flowing, or listening to her upsets really improves her physical state. Whenever I’m feeling unwell, I always make sure to message my listening partner and set up some listening time. It always helps me feel better both emotionally and physically.

To find out more about listening time check out my book Tears Heal

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