Putting Bungee to Bed - Sleep Tips for Parents

  • Talk together about how Ben and Bungee’s experience fits your own, in the sense that all of the people in the family feel better and get along better when you’ve all had enough rest.
  • Instead of directing all of your comments toward your child, try to create a discussion between everyone. For example, Dad can ask Mom what things she can do better when she’s had enough rest, then Mom can ask him the same question, then it can be the child’s turn to answer. Keep the discussion brief and simple.
  • Announce that everyone in your family is now going to follow the same sleep rules as in the book so that you can all have more energy to do the things you love to do together. (Review the sleep rules on page 18 of the story)
  • Create pictures together to help everyone remember the rules just as the characters did in the book. Younger children can be involved in the process by coloring or adding stickers to a drawing started by an adult or older child. Display each family member’s picture where it is easily visible when lying in bed.
  • When you are tucking your child that first night, remind her of Bungee’s sleep rules and point to her sleep picture as a cue.
  • If and when your child comes out of his bed, calmly and gently take his hand and lead him back to bed, silently pointing to his sleep rules picture. You may need to do this many times, especially the first night. Stick with it!
  • Do your best to be as calm and neutral as possible every time, being neither apologetic nor overly stern.
  • The next day, pick one or two instances when you say “YES” or “NO” to activities your child wants to do based on how well they “remembered the rules” the night before. (See Ben’s comments to Bungee on page 30 as a guide)
  • If you want to bring your “game” to the next level, consider enlisting your child to help someone else remember the rules, just as Ben does for Bungee in the book. You can ask your child to be in charge of their very own plush Bungee, or another favorite doll or stuffed animal. Make sure you create a special picture for your child’s cuddly friend, too.
  • For more personalized and intensive help getting your family’s sleep back on track, contact Dr. Carr for a private family sleep consultation.

 

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