There is a book that, as of late, apparently has being hyped up in mainstream news. I wouldn’t know firsthand. But, I do know people that follow along with mainstream trends, and watch the news to see what’s hot. And right now, or last week, I don’t know, is discussion of a book that uses the power of suggestion, or perhaps meditative practices to help put children into deeper sleep faster.
I watched along as a friend read the book to her child. This 3-year old boy went from hyped up and not paying much attention, to being verrry relaxed and finally nodding off shortly after the last page was read. It’s a bit of a long book, but it managed to keep him engaged eventually, and helped him feel tired in the end.
The book is called: The Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep, by Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin. It’s just the first in a planned series of children’s books by the same author.
Follow the reading instructions for the best effects
Within the pages of the book are bolded and italicized words and phrases that help the reader determine when to put emphasis in her reading. It encourages more emphasis on the bolded words, and a slow and calm voice for the italicized words.
And parents are asked to yawn at various points throughout the book, and to even “yawn” the name of the main character Raaah-gerr (Roger). And those yawns are contagious! Although, there are studies that suggest that many kids aren’t susceptible to the contagiousness of yawns until they are about four years old. (1) But still, hearing yawns probably still does encourage tired feelings.
And finally, the child’s (or children’s) name is to be inserted in the marked spots in the pages, suggesting that the listener is growing more and more tired, and has the desire to fall into deep slumber.
Is this approach to helping a child to relax, feel calm, and fall asleep sinister or genius?
At first, I felt that the book may be a little manipulative. But, my parent-friend described her opinion of the book’s purpose as teaching meditative practice for children at a very early age, and that it “reads like a guided meditation.” (2) And many of us know the power that deep rest and relaxation has on our overall health and well-being. Among other valuable benefits, meditation helps to calm our minds, and nurtures creativity. (3)
The author says that the intention of the book “is to help children sleep well, understand their own value, and be prepared to overcome obstacles in their life.” [Source: “About” section within the book]
Parents need time away from the kids, and bed time is sometimes our only hope at getting that
I know very well, the desire to get your dependents to sleep. Parents need a break, and need time to do their own thing, that’s for sure.
Parents need time away from their children: to finish up the multitude of chores in the home, to get to bed at a reasonable time themselves, to make love with their partners, and on and on. And, a lot of times, it’s not until we get the kiddos to bed that we can take care of our own needs.
I have witnessed many approaches to getting kids to get to sleep. Many parents are angry and shout at their kids at bed time until the children cry themselves to sleep. Others will medicate their kids to get them to sleep. Some use the crash and burn cycle of sugar. With all of these (and more) horrific choices that parents make in desperation (or lack of awareness) to get the kids prepared for sleep, this book feels like a healthy welcome addition for many-a-family.