Can We All Just Get Some Sleep

August 12, 2020

 

I write this during the COVID pandemic. Counties have been more shut than open for 4 1/2 months. Our little school was closed from March until July and reopened with a small ‘pod’ of 12 children (usually 22-24 children, 4-5 teachers). 2 teachers 12 children, consistent, daily, limited exposure, with a plethora of additional restrictions.

Pretty certain that NONE of us were prepared for a pandemic; for the closures of services, for the isolation of our children and families, for the loss of income, work (businesses that have closed after 20 years). How could a person prepare for this unknown?

On the mamas Facebook group someone asked how to get their child to sleep. What was once an easy, enjoyable, ritual, has changed dramatically.

Let’s begin with attempting to understand the child and their daily life experience. Dr. Montessori called the young child before the age of six a “spiritual embryo”. I visualize a little life filled jelly fish, floating around absorbing all of its surroundings. They absorb EVERYTHING; touch, emotional, language, motion, visual. They are like mini motion picture cameras capturing every movement and sound, vibration, and unseen energies.

Now I’m going to get a little woo-woo, I did write ‘unseen energies’. If we are, as a collective, knowing and feeling the anxiety of our community, our neighbors, can you imagine what is happening to our little sensitive record takers?

Onto sleep. This is where I speak to you as a mother, with Montessori experiences, but as a fellow mother. Sleep is as important as eating and breathing. If your child is struggling with sleep, or has regressed in a behavior, check yourself to see if there have been extra tension or anxiety in the home, or even in the neighbors home. Given our circumstances, tension and anxiety are natural and unavoidable. It has always served me to understand (and gave me patience) if there was some kind of explanation for a behavior.

Some sleep rituals.

  • No fruit (or sugar, natural or unnatural) after 4PM.
  • Soft lights after dark (candlelight soft).
  • No blue screens (phone, TV, pads, computers) one and a half hours before bedtime.
  • After dinner Peppermint and Chamomile tea in summer/fall, Ginger and Camomile in winter/spring.
  • Reading books, aloud.
  • Story telling, aloud.
  • Epsom or Magnesium salt baths.
  • Practice gratitude for our physiology, our body, by lying down, closing eyes, and quietly move the mind through each body part. You can whisper and use light touch for the young child, “top of head (pause 2 seconds), face (pause), back of head (pause), neck etc etc. All the way to the toes.
  • You just might fall asleep too.

 

Caring for what you care about most.

 

 

Hey!  I'm Donna founder of Midtown Montessori in Santa Cruz, California.  I'm here hoping to make Montessori style more mainstream because we sure could use more people who LOVE themselves, each other, and the planet.  I would love to hear from you, feel free to reach out here with questions, interest in enrollment, topics you would like covered or just comment below.  Bottom line:  don't be a stranger!

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