Epi #44. Need help transitioning my toddler to sleep in own bed. Coaching Session Part 2Jan 24, 2023
🙋🏻♀️ Hi, Cycle Breakers! This episode is the 2nd part to last week’s coaching session with Crystal. If you recall, she was having trouble getting her 3.5 year old preschooler to sleep in his bedroom. Today, we’ll help her to expand her beliefs and explore bedtime solutions to break her son’s bedtime cycle, since co-sleeping isn’t an option for her family.
Parental Pain Point
Crystal’s older son has had trouble adjusting to his little brother’s arrival & wants to stay attached to her all day, even & especially during bedtime. He always wakes up from his bed & makes his way to her bedroom to fall asleep in hers, instead. 😩
Crystal desires to feel capable and enjoy being a mom. Marcela explains that she’ll have to expand her limiting beliefs in order to achieve these goals, so the next time her son shows big emotions, she can respond to him from a more expansive mindset and calm nervous system. 🧘🏻♀️
When Crystal was growing up, she wasn’t allowed to show “negative” emotions, like crying, anger, etc. She learned to internalize them, was well-behaved, and appeared to have it together on the outside, even if she was hurting inside, so she wouldn’t be punished by her parents. Now, as a mom, she struggles with perfectionism and feels responsible for her son’s emotions, blaming herself when they’re especially strong. 😞
Marcela helps Crystal realize that the reason why she tends to feel resentment towards her son whenever this happens is because no co-sleeping is a boundary that’s being crossed every night he ends up sleeping in her bed. Resentment is a warning sign that our boundaries are being crossed. Since parent-pleasers usually grow up to be people-pleasers, they struggle with setting and holding boundaries, like Crystal. 🙅🏻♀️
Marcela was able to uncover Crystal’s parenting fear of becoming permissive if she allows her son to sleep in her bed. She was also afraid of reinforcing the cycle if she wasn’t consistent with it.
In order for Crystal’s son to stay in his bed all night, he has to feel psychological safety from her, so it’s important for her to feel safe in her own body too. Otherwise, he’ll receive her anxious energy / stress, and it’ll negatively influence him to feel the same, instead of safe and relaxed enough to go to sleep. 😴
Marcela mentions that a good way for Crystal to start is to recognize her unmet needs and limiting beliefs, replace them with expansive beliefs, soften the stress in her body, use a calming, sensory tool, and commit to her son. In this case, convincing him (through the safety she gives off) that he’s safe in his room. 🛌🏻
So, Marcela engages Crystal in a role-playing exercise where she plays Crystal and Crystal plays her son. The goal is to walk her through the process of transitioning him to his own bed. She advises Crystal to try this on a week where her husband is home and to remain patient until her son finally stays in bed overnight. 🌜
Marcela suggests a couple things Crystal can try to positively influence her son to sleep in his bed. For example, offering him a comfort item, like covering his pillow in her pillowcase, so the scent reinforces that he’s safe and it kind of makes it seem like she’s with him. 💤
Another suggestion is to reassure him that she’ll check up on him throughout the night. Then, she can take a picture of him sleeping and show it to him the next day, so he sees proof of her keeping her word. However, Marcela warned that this approach could cause some kids more anxiety, so only use it if she thinks it would help. 📸
The last suggestion was to make matching hearts, where Crystal keeps one and he keeps the other. Then, they can bring their hearts together, as a family, in the mornings. Marcela reminds Crystal that whichever exercise she chooses to do with her son should come from a place of aiding him, not fixing him. And, once he begins to sleep in his bed all night, his daytime behaviors will improve as a result of being well-rested, instead of sleep deprived. 💞
Finally, Crystal realizes that things feel hard because they simply are, not because she isn’t competent enough as a parent. She ends the session feeling empowered and confident to help her son feel safe in his room overnight. 🙌🏽*
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