Bedtime. This is the time of day that triggers the most upheavals in my otherwise (ahem) blissful home. Fights routinely break out between my 10- and 7-year-old sons over who had the toothpaste first, who left the towel on the floor, or who “really” forgot to flush the toilet. When it’s not an argument that’s brewing, it’s a fit of uncontrollable giggles, pillow fights, and non-stop running around that goes on until the little darlings are finally ready to get in their beds.
My 10-year-old son has always had a difficult time winding down, partly due to ADHD. But about nine months ago, getting him into bed had become less of a problem than getting him to fall asleep and stay asleep. So for the past several weeks, I’ve added savasana to his nighttime routine to help him unwind.
His favorite part is the little massage I do at the beginning. I do the same thing every time (at his request): I knead the shoulders and back of the neck, cradle the base of the head and elongate the neck, and end with a few strokes across the forehead and pinch of each earlobe. Then I repeat the whole thing (he insists I do it twice!). As I do this I speak to him about slowing down the breath, letting go and offer ways to relax parts of his body.
By the time I’m done the mini-massage, his energy level is completely changed. He spends a short time lying quietly before I have him put his head on a pillow and tuck him in for the night. So far, it’s working wonders and no more getting up at night (knock on wood!).
Need help getting your child to fall asleep? The Kids Yoga Resource has put together a yoga sequence specifically for children to do at bedtime.