I discovered something magical a couple nights ago. It was time for yet another bedtime and that meant another bedtime story. Usually I’m a rock star at stories, but I was tired and I just randomly started with my low, slow voice saying, “Picture yourself in a boat on the river…with tangerine trees and marmelade skies…” I had nowhere to go from there and had an epiphany.
So in my best meditation voice (also my best fake-hypnotist “You’re getting sleeepy” voice but toned down) I asked them what color the boat was. “Don’t tell me, just picture it…” and to focus on how beautiful the boat was. After about ten seconds I continued. I asked them about the river, if there were gemstones on the boat, if there were clouds in the sky, what the clouds looked like.
The whole thing probably lasted ten minutes. My older girls were out by the end of the story/meditation and the 2yo was really drowsy. I think she didn’t fall asleep entirely because she kept answering the questions instead of picturing the answers. I’m not complaining, that girl usually stays up well past all of our bedtimes so having her relaxed was a blessing in and of itself.
Have you ever tried guided meditation? It’s good stuff if you are in a place where you can really relax. Like bed.
I know that reading to kids at bedtime is recommended. I hear all the smart, well-read mommies do it, but I like to read to the kids during the day because in our house reading is a fun, exciting activity that transports you to other places. They know how much I love books. I do voices and we get into the stories. Doing that at bedtime would be a hot mess if I wanted the kids to actually sleep.
Just don’t tell anyone that yesterday I started reading my book out loud to my daughter and it was The Face of a Stranger by Anne Perry and it was the part in the slums and I had to skip over entire paragraphs so she didn’t have nap-mares. It sure as heck wasn’t Courduroy! LOL
Of course, if I could get Samuel L. Jackson to come over and read Go the F**k to Sleep to them I’m sure they’d be out in a hot minute, that man has the voice of an angel. Sometimes an avenging angel, sometimes a guardian angel – depends on his mood.
Let me know how it works out if you try guided meditation for your kids!
I’ll try to find some resources to help you out if you’re not familiar with the pacing and intonation used for guided mediatation. Give me a day to search.
Photo credit: enzo from morguefile.com