Bedtime Battles

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Close Your Eyes. But I’m Not Tired…

We’ve been challenged at bedtime more often than usual in the last couple weeks. B is insistent that he isn’t tired, while his behavior is evidence to the contrary. It’s hard to stay mad at his stalling behavior when he asks a question like, “How do you fall asleep when your mind is awake?” Then I realize, we all have these moments – when our body is exhausted but our mind is racing. Hard to guess what he’s thinking about: What he learned in preschool today? The book we read before bed? Santa? Whatever it is, he needs a tool to tune it out. While my initial, burning eyelids, frustration-laden response was to tell him to count sheep, I reconsidered and thought better of it.

Soothing and Satisfying
Count Yourself to Sleep (Song of God's Love, A)
Instead of a curt and annoyed directive to quiet down and sleep, I retrieved one of our favorites from bedtimes past from the bookshelf and gave both of us a refresher. Count Yourself to Sleep, by Lynn Hodges and Sue Buchanan is a lovely story told in verse of how a little otter settles down to sleep. Little ones are encouraged to “count yourself to sleep,” but not by counting sheep. Instead, they are encouraged to, “Count your good and perfect gifts, they all come from God.” The little otter provides some examples of things he is grateful for, which run the gamut from chocolate pudding to sunshine to Daddy’s lap, affirming for readers that there are no wrong answers. Just as I have been trying to commit to my gratitude journal each night, counting blessings is an ideal way to both settle down and foster a sense of satisfaction and content. Our board book version of this title also includes a CD with the text set to music, and once you learn the song, you won’t need to the book each night to remind you.

Helping our children learn to problem-solve gives them opportunities for cognitive development. Helping them establish a focus on gratitude and content not only promotes emotional development, but makes bedtime a little easier, too!

Appropriate for babies, toddlers, preschoolers, everyone!

Hope you’ll share your strategies for bedtime stallers in the comments and any books you’ve enjoyed recently in a link!


Ginny Marie December 10, 2010 at 7:21 AM  

I would love to hear the CD! Part of our bedtime routine includes singing some nighttime songs. Those otters are just too cute!

Nicole {tired, need sleep} December 11, 2010 at 9:35 AM  

This sounds like such a wonderful book. I'm going to see if our library has it. This is my first visit to your blog (I love it!)... thank you for hosting this great link-up!

Love and Lollipops December 11, 2010 at 12:44 PM  

This book sounds wonderful! Would love to read it!

Tracey M. December 11, 2010 at 3:25 PM  

I love how articulate your little one was in describing why he's not tired! My son isn't fond of "night night" time when the idea first comes up, but it's helped that we make a huge deal that he gets to pick out 2 or 3 books to read. I notice we have a real routine too in that daddy reads books, then mommy reads one or two then I pray and sing a song. On nights it's been really hard I told him I'd make up a special story just for him and then it was really time for sleep. He loved it and kept giving me more ideas to add to the little story.

About the Count Yourself to Sleep Book, I really like this and the lesson it teaches in creating a heart of gratitude to the Lord. Our library doesn't carry it! I'm putting it on my Amazon wish list though. Thanks for sharing and hosting!

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