Which Words? As you are speaking to your child, always use positive language and tell them exactly what you want them to do. Some of us have the habit of using "negatives'" to express ourselves with, which the inner mind does not like to respond to at all. The word, "Don't" especially gets cancelled out instantaneously and what's left is the negative suggestion, just floating out there. (Here's a fun experiment: Have someone say to you, "DON'T think of a purple gorilla. DON'T think of a purple gorilla." Over and over. Your inner mind cancels out "Don't" and all you can think of is the purple gorilla!)
So, when talking to children, you want to tell them exactly what the plan is, and not what you don't want them to do. For instance, if I say to my ten-year-old son, "Now, sweetie, I am going to go downstairs and make some popcorn so we can watch our video together and while I'm gone, DON'T jump on your sister's head, aggravate her or make her mad in any way," he just may do exactly what I told him not to, simply from having the suggestion planted there by me, and having the word, "Don't" interjected before the command. However, if I instead said to him, "Now sweetie, I'm going to go downstairs and make some popcorn and I know that you are going to sit right here and keep my spot next to you warm, so that we can watch our video together in a few minutes," I'm telling him what I really want him to do and he is much more likely to just do it!
Bedtime Routine: You must have a pleasant regular bedtime routine, even for naps that is the same every time, so that your toddler can come to expect the same scenario for gearing down and resting. During this routine, you will be explaining everything that is about to happen in a soothing way, without saying "nap, "go to bed, or "sleep". (See #2 above) An example of a great bedtime routine might be:
Remember, the Toddler Sleepy-Time script has suggestions on it that program your child to begin gearing down as soon as they hear the soft music beginning. It helps them to relax as they prepare to "rest" and fall asleep on their own as well as remain asleep all night long. If you can, put a label on the tape that has your child's name on it and tell him/her that "This is your special tape. It has a wonderful story on it and you will be listening to it and following along with your imagination. It's so fun to listen to your special tape!"
Each child is different and may need a different bedtime routine, yet if your child is prepared for bed in soothing ways and with positive words, along with knowing that when they do get into bed they get to hear their very own Sleepy-Time tape, a well rested atmosphere is much more likely to be the force that drives your family, and fatigue will be a thing of the past. Yay!
Kerry also created the Hypnobabies Home Study Course for women who need self-study options for hypnotic childbirth, and is the author of Pregnancy Hypnosis the Hypnobabies Way, The Introduction to Childbirth Hypnosis Workbook for Professionals, and The Hypno-Doula Training Workbook. The foremost expert in Hypnosis for Childbirth, she is also an international conference speaker and lecturer.
Copyrighted © Kerry Tuschhoff. Permission to publish granted to Pregnancy.org, LLC.