9 Answers

My 8 (nearly 9) year old daughter has trouble falling asleep, it takes her forever with a lot of making excuses and getting out of bed in between. When she eventually does she often wakes through the night and says she can’t get back to sleep and wants us to stay with her till she does or we give in and she sleeps in our bed. My daughter is a very strong willed little girl and I think she finds it hard to turn her little brain off and relax. I have been told Hot Air Balloon guided meditation is great and from what I have heard yes I think it would but we don’t have a lot of internet so I was hoping I could get some recommendations of kids meditation CD’s that we could try or any other helpful hints. Thank you in advance

Posted by nelly77, 10th April 2016

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  • My nine year old has similar issues. The Smiling Mind app has dome free children’s pre-bed meditations. Also, independent reading before bed has helped a lot.

  • It’s worth a try I guess, parenting is all about finding what works best for you and your family. Not sure she’s old enough to fully understand what’s happening and how to do it properly tho

  • Reading before bed is a great idea, for any age. I think meditation would be a great idea and one that you could all do together so she doesn’t feel alone.

  • You could try a reward chart. A lot of the children’s meditation talks about belly breathing where they place their hands on their belly and focus on their hands going up and down. I like the suggestion of making your own recording

  • When this happened with my daughter at a similar age (she’s now 15) I recorded us (Mum and Dad) reading her favourite books. I chose lovely stories that were soothing and a lot that were rhyming, and read them in a calm, soothing voice and it really helped her to listen to before sleeping as a way to wind down. They were familiar, and it made her feel like we were there.

  • I agree with all of these suggestions. Also, I think even for 8 -9 year olds, being over tired can interfere with sleep. Maybe try getting her into bed 30 mins earlier and letting her chill out for 15 mins by reading, writing in a diary or making a list of all the things she enjoyed that day. I know when I was younger I would often fret about things that happened during the day so if that is impacting at all, it can help to write down what happened and what she would do differently tomorrow. Good luck!

  • You could go to a local library search and print out some meditation for children, you can read it out to her and she can be guided by your voice, calm, familiar and relaxing. Meditation helps relax children but also how to work through their emotions, how to stop and breathe before reacting, how to calm themselves down and how to switch off. Good luck. I hope you find something that works. :-)

  • Mine (of same age) still likes a night light. Without she struggles to get to sleep. We also moved her bed away from the wall – as she moved when sleeping she was bumping the wall and that was waking her. Also, we l have bought bedtime forward and during the earlier time she is allowed to read by herself on her bed.

    Try getting her into a kids yoga class so she can learn meditation techniques in a fun class. She can then bring these skills home. A good yoga teacher will share some tips with you too.

    Some children find weighted bed covers comforting too – even a heart bedspread can really help.

  • I don’t know a lot about the meditation you mention but I think one key to settling down in the evening is to have a routine (for adults too!). It sounds like the routine at the moment has some unwanted habits – like wandering about – and I guess those need to change. Perhaps you can use the meditation idea to help create a new habit and establish some new patterns…doing things specifically designed to release stress if that is an issue for her. Yoga is also meant to help and might be something you can do together for a few minutes to make a new pattern. She might also be able to unwind if you read a book to her, have her relax with something she likes, let her read herself, etc.. If the wandering about persists there probably needs to be consequences for that, while keeping up the new habit and rewarding her when she does stay in her room. (Have her wake at the same time too every morning and do lots of activity – and she might feel more tired and ready for bed in the evening). Waking in the night and disturbing you sounds like insomnia for her. I don’t know whether having a good evening settling routine, with meditation/relaxation etc. would help that or not. (I suppose you can see how it goes, and seek input from GP if necessary about why she wont stay asleep at her age).

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