Help your child develop his independence and security. Sharing the bed with their parents generates an excessive attachment.
Sometimes, the refusal that children have to sleep alone is due to several habits or customs practiced by the parents or relatives who live with them. Many prolong the process of separation, not knowing that this custom has an impact on the formation of their child’s personality, by establishing an excessive attachment to them or to other people, which can generate insecurity, inability to solve their own problems and difficulty in adapting to new situations.
Psychologist Mary Castro from Clinica Ricardo Palma points out that each child has their time to sleep alone, this happens around 4 years of age. “There are more independent or mature children who learn easily, others need their parents’ supervision for a longer time. In these cases, you have to have a lot of patience because this need can be due to different factors, including fear of the dark, ”she says.
Keys for you to learn
There are several strategies for a child to sleep alone. However, it is recommended to follow a routine so that he/she gets used to staying in his/her room, especially if the little one usually shares the bed with the parents. Take into account the following tips:
- It is not enough to ask him/her to go to his/her room, you can motivate him/her by explaining that sleeping in his/her room will have more space.
- Try to flatter him/her, pointing out how great she/he is and how proud you are as parents that she/he goes to sleep alone.
- You can decorate the bedroom to his/her liking, so that it is perceived as his/her own space and he/she identifies with it.
- Before leaving the room, you can leave a dim light on. Get in the habit of going to bed at the same time.
- Establish a routine before bedtime: read a story or tell him/her the most beautiful of his/her day, include a goodnight kiss or perhaps a prayer.
Avoid making these mistakes:
- Pressuring your child to sleep alone and closing the bedroom door. This can make the process more difficult and cause him/her to reject his/her bedroom.
- Leaving the television on or going to him/her with concern at the slightest call will not help, our little one must see us calm and safe. Parents must be firm, constant and not allow themselves to be blackmailed.
- Always get up to accompany him/her to the bathroom. If you are old enough to do it alone and have already done it before, you will have no problem. However, you can leave a lamp on in the room or leave a hallway light on. Ideally, the switches should be within reach of the child to avoid falls or accidents.
- Be patient and help your little one at this stage of his/her life. A child over 5 years old should sleep alone to be independent and safe.
Dr. Mary Castro
Psychologist at Clinica Ricardo Palma