Is Bedtime Driving You Crazy? Try this!

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Long days? Not sure if you have anything "left in the tank" for bedtime routines? 
Take a deep breath and read on for encouragement.

Imagnine that you and your child are cars. Depending on the day, perhaps you feel like a cute, little, zippy car, or a big, old SUV, a pick- up truck or a rattly old tin can. What kind of car are you feeling like? 

As you drive through your life, your car fills up with experiences. The trunk, then the backseat, slowly the floor spaces and glove box fill up with moments from your day: happy, meaningful and thrilling moments, or sad frustrating and depleting ones. All of them are filling your space, bouncing around into each other like over-filled grocery bags, toys, and granola bar wrappers. 

While YOUR car is being filled with YOUR experiences - your kiddos have their OWN CARS filling up with their OWN experiences. Whoa. Right? It's a lot.

At the end of the day, you all come to park in the bedtime parking lot.

What do you do?
How do emply your cars?
How do you unpack your experiences and clear your space so sleep can happen?
 
Here are three tricks to clearing energy before bed so that you and your kids can have peaceful mind and peaceful sleeps.
 
Give your car a check up. 

Your car made it through the day successfully! And it carried all of your stuff around! Show it some love and appreciation for a job well done.
Thank the wheels, the body, the brakes and the gas pedal. 

Your own body takes in so much information through your senses. It's amazing and miraculous that it can process every moment of the day while keeping your heart beating and your lungs pumping and your arms and legs moving. You might feel tied and sore, your kiddo might have aches and pains, but here you are together, still alive! Let yourself feel grateful for this. Take a few deep breaths together and thank your body parts!

Pick out a favorite item from your car.

Appreciate a joyful moment from the day. Maybe you gave yourself a treat. Maybe you offered or received a compliment. Maybe your kiddo learned a new skill or shared a meaningful moment with you. 

Choose one good thing from your car's collection, and let your mind rest on it for 20 seconds. Appreciate yourself, your actions, your strengths, your child’s strengths, efforts or delights. Where do you feel that happiness in your body? 

MIRACLE: As you focus on the positive things in your car, the negative things automatically begin to disappear. Your car starts to clear itself out!

Research shows that negative experienes tend to stick in our brains, and positive experiences flow through and are more easily forgotten.  Working for just a few moments to let positive experiences sink in, and land in our bodies, rewire our brains to feel happier, more rested, clear and connected.
 
Send your car through the car wash.
 
Make a game out of intentionally cleaning your car.
Do something with your body that is cleansing. Bounce up and down, shake your arms and legs...OR...Pretend to send yourself through the car wash! Imagine rotating scrub brushes, soapy spray, and shiny wax washing away the day and leaving you clean and sparkly.

Positive playful energy is contagious. When you are present in a fun game, your children respond. Kids LOVE to have playful body experiences and if you can join them for just a few minutes, your kids will begin to feel grounded, safe, and connected, creating the perfect conditions for falling asleep FASTER and more PEACEFULLY 

Try this out and let me know what works for you!

With love, magic, and peaceful bedtimes,
Susanne

I love cake. Don't you?

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Cake is the perfect treat …soft and sweet and rich…chocolate is my total fave.

For weeks, I have been wracking my brain, trying to find the right analogy for the many layers of wellness that Mind Body Bedtime brings to parents and kids. 
 
And then, after having cake instead of dinner last Tuesday night, (oops!) it came to me. Imagine my delight when I realized, mid bite, that my favorite dessert was a great analogy for my work! 
 
Mind Body Bedtime is like cake:
 
The top layer of Mind Body Bedtime practice is like the frosting.
It’s the fun part.
Its where the sprinkles… the cherries…the extra chocolate lives. 
It’s the intensely sweet part that hits your tongue right away. 
 
This is the sweetness of being connected with delight to the little creature in front of you: your child. Frosting moments are the moments that make you laugh, the moments that you “get each other.” It’s what makes parenting fun.
 
Underneath the frosting is the top cake layer. It's the substance-the part that fills you up.
 
This is the good feeling layer that comes when you realize that what you’re teaching your children is really good for them. This layer is the knowledge that practicing mindfulness, supporting the natural relaxation process, helping kids be aware of their bodies and their breath, boosts their self-confidence, their sense of self and their ability to be calm in stressful times. 
 
So good already, but there's more:

Under the first layer, you find an equally delicious base layer. Perhaps its the same flavor, or perhaps it has a different taste or texture.

This layer represents what Mind Body Bedtime practices do for you, as a parent. Relaxation skills are universal. They help everyone, and they can be powerful tools as you meet challenges in parenting. You can begin mindful practices for the sake of your child, but in doing so, you gain a sense of calm, peaceful connection with yourself, as well, that is essential when on the long road of parenting. 
 
Mind Body Bedtime skills are layered, delicious and a wonderful addition to your life.  (Just like cake!)  I hope you start today!

Upcoming events:

I’ll be presenting an informal workshop following the Cuddle Bugs playgroup at Gentle Parenting Madison, 6117 Monona Drive, Suite 4, Madison WI, at 11:30 am on April 2nd. This will be a conversation with parents of young kids (age zero-walking) about how to introduce mind body practices at the beginning of life. RSVP details to come...
 
if you’d rather stay in, or live too far away to visit in person, get a quick intro to Mind Body Bedtime principles and 10 great bedtime games, with my quick-read book , Mind Body Bedtime, Peaceful Games to Make Kids Sleepy. 

Order here: https://www.amazon.com/Mind-Body-Bedtime-Peaceful-Sleepy/dp/1729463916

With love and magic,
Susanne