My Favourite Parenting Phrase #3: "I Love You, Goodnight."
This statement is usually preceded by a snuggle, a hug, or stroking the bridge of my kid's nose and followed by a term of endearment or a song as I walk out of the room.
In my work I call this a sleep phrase but in my life I call it common sense. If you're suppressing a cough or letting your arm go numb so you don't disturb your nearly asleep child or if you're pulling ninja moves to avoid the squeaky floorboards as you tiptoe out the door once they're asleep, I say quit sneaking! Stop tricking your child into believing you're going to be there with them all night long by lying with them at bedtime.
Connected Kids Need Independent Sleep
There's no reason your child can't learn that it's nice and safe to be tucked up into bed and find their own way into sleep. In fact, it's essential for good sleep.
I strongly encourage together time and pillow talk to catch to those last minute thoughts that always seem to come tumbling out at bedtime but I also know that if we always help our kids fall asleep that it can seriously hinder their belief in their abilities which can bring about other symptoms like anxiety, panic attacks, bed-wetting, low self-esteem and decreased immune function. So let's foster abilities not dependencies and let go of controlling our kids and let them grow instead.