Do your kids have a fear of sleeping alone?
So you are fed up with having feet in your face. You are so over the whole sharing your bed idea. You salivate at the idea of actually having a full night’s sleep. You dream about dreaming again. You are determined to get your kids to get over their fear of sleeping alone. You had a firm talk with your kids about your new plans. It is a done deal, or so you think.
Your kids scoff at your plans. Your vision crumbles before you ever begin. Goodbye eight hours of restful sleep. Hello, coffee and sleepless nights.
[Click here to listen to my podcast episode on this topic]
But wait, don’t give up. Getting your kids to get over their fear of sleeping alone takes time and determination. It also requires you to not make these five mistakes:
Don’t believe the fear of sleeping alone will fix itself.
Parents will often tell me, “It is not like he is going to want to be in my bed forever!” Um, actually, yes – he might want to. I see kids every year in my practice who refuse to get out of their parents’ bed. I am talking about teenagers.
If you think your kids will just naturally one day decide they prefer their room, you might be disappointed. There are some kids who will never get over their fear of sleeping alone.
Don’t leave it up to your kids to sleep in their own bed.
If you are determined to move your kids out of your bed, don’t leave it up to your kids. Let me just get one thing clear right now – your kids are never going to be on board. EVER. Fancy cool bunk bed. Nope. Super awesome bedspread. I don’t think so. The most amazing furniture. Not even.
Having your kids sleep in their own bed is your choice, not their choice. If you wait for it to be a unanimous vote, you’ll be waiting quite a long time (and by long time I mean forever).
Don’t cave when trying to get your kids to sleep in their own bed, unless you like starting all over.
Getting your kids to sleep in their own bed is like a marathon. If you stop running for a while, you’ll have to start all over again. And who wants to do that?
If you are in – be all in. The key is to take small successful steps, rather than big failures. Your child has most likely been sleeping in your bed for quite some time. Change isn’t going to happen overnight.
You will have to help your child feel empowered and safe to sleep in their own bed and this will take time. To read a step-by-step guide on how to do this, click here.
When you follow the step-by-step guide on how to get your kids to sleep in their own bed, don’t veer off the plan. The guide talks about taking one small step at a time. Is your child supposed to be sleeping next to you on a small bed on the floor? Don’t cave and let them sleep in your bed. Is your husband out of town and some company would be nice? Don’t cave and let them come back into your room.
When you cave you basically tell your child that you are not actually that serious about this whole sleep in their own bedroom thing – and you are, right?
Don’t give up
This is a tiring battle. This is a battle that will make you rethink your decision to battle in the first place. You will get less sleep. You will get more irritable. You will curse this new plan. And just when you are about to give up – it all starts to come together, if you let it!
Whatever you do, don’t give up. You might think you aren’t making progress and then BOOM – everything starts improving. Hang in there and let that happen.
Are you trying to get your kids to sleep in their own bed? What has worked or not worked for you? Share with other suffering, sleep deprived parents and leave a comment below.
Do you know someone who is trying to get their kids to sleep in their own bed? Share this article with them.
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