The secret to helping your children to sleep is actually all about your mood

Children need to feel secure to fall asleep—but that often doesn’t happen when parents are frustrated and anxious.

The secret to helping your children to sleep is actually all about your mood

While parents all over the world are trying to solve the BIG mystery of how on earth to get their kids to sleep, I have a little secret to share with you on how to get your children to sleep quickly and without a fight.

Do you feel like you’re at the point of desperation? Do you often get annoyed when your little darling comes running out of bed for the umpteenth time asking for a glass of water or needing a trip to the bathroom? Does it take hours before your tiny wonder finally drops off to sleeps? And does this routine leave you exhausted on the couch night after night? I feel you. 100 percent.

Let’s do something about that, shall we?

Reframe your mindset instead of hiding your feelings

You probably already know how hard it can be to hide your feelings from your child. Your child knows you so well and is a master detective in detecting your mood and understanding your energy.

This may happen at bedtime when your child can often feel your exhaustion and frustration. And there is nothing your child wants more than to fix your mood and make you happy. Because that is always what every child wants—happy parents. So, if you can, try to reframe how you’re thinking about the situation to fend off frustration.

Be aware of the way your feelings may cause confusion

If your child acts out at bedtime it could be a sign that he is confused about your energy. Maybe that’s because you are trying to hide your feelings. You might try to pretend to be calm—but your mini master detective can sense that you are not calm at all.

They may feel your frustration, exhaustion or anger. They don’t necessarily feel happiness coming from you. Help eliminate their confusion by trying to keep a calm demeanor.

So... How do you accomplish this?

The secret to reassuring your child is to become aware of your own mood and energy and put yourself in a positive frame of mind. This will give your child the sense of safety and security she needs to fall asleep.

Take one to three minutes for yourself before you begin your child’s bedtime routine. Think about how you are feeling and what expectations you have for the coming bedtime. Become conscious of your mood and feeling.

If you are exhausted or exasperated—calm down and give yourself a break. Be good to yourself. Take some deep breaths and fill yourself with love for yourself and for your child.

This will create a positive energy that will help your child feel safe and ready to relax.

Know that your child really is tired and deep inside they really do want to go to sleep.

Try meditation.

Now that you, as a parent, feel more peaceful and centered—you can share that sense of serenity with your child. You can transfer your calm and loving energy to them. A lovely way to do this is by reading meditations to your child. When I started sharing beautiful heart meditations with my daughters, I was surprised to see how much they loved it and how quickly they would fall asleep.

As different as children are, almost every child delights in hearing about how much a parent or caregiver loves and treasures them. Even teenagers—to my surprise!—seem to be calmed by hearing the meditations in the book read aloud. However, the best part of the book is that your child learns to fill his or her own heart with love. Through reading this together, your child will get to know his beautiful superpower of love—and the trick is then to turn it up.

Here are a few tips to create positive bedtime energy...

1. Become aware of your own energy and mood

Pay attention to your body and get to know where your emotions typically emerge in your body.

2. Find your energy switch

If your energy is low and your mood is lousy, take a break and change it to love.

3. Read aloud from texts that bring you and your child closer

When you read aloud from a book, such as my “The Children’s Meditations In my Heart,” or another text that calms and comforts both you and your child—your child will sense your calm, loving energy and feel safe enough to let his or her tired little body relax.

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They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.


Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!


Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.


Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.


Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.


Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.


Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.


Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.


Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.


Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.


Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.


Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.


Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.


Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.


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