The Introduction for Parents gives you an overview of the plan and what to expect as your child solves the problem one piece at a time. Goals are rarely achieved all at once. It's a gradual process that takes place with just a few weeks of consistent encouragement and focus. The Introduction also provides you with a script for engaging your child in the book and in the process.
In this chapter your child is invited to rate their level of anxiety about sleeping alone on a scale from 0 (not afraid) to 10 (terrified). It then helps your child pick the chapter of the bedtime fear that bothers them the most, rather than working through the chapters in numerical order. You start at this chapter every time you use the book and watch your child's fear rating drop week after week. All of the 7 common bedtime fears are covered in the book. Royelle's level of fear of sleeping alone started at an 8 or 9!
Sleeping alone can seem overwhelming to a child, especially when they have such good imaginations. This chapter helps your child look at how things will turn out if they keep on doing things the same old way. It helps motivate them to think of a new goal .. the way they really want things to be after they solve the problem. As Royelle exclaimed, “I’d like to be able to sleep by myself and feel proud in the morning!” The chapter goes on to show your child the tapping technique that allows them to mix together strong confident good feelings as they picture being alone in bed.
Being alone in the dark is a new and often scary experience for a small child. Their minds are not limited to reality like you and I. They can imagine monsters under the bed, or creepy people lingering inside their closet. Shadows can become real and hide scary things. How do you help your child learn to comfort themselves? Royelle learns what to do and shows your child the way. The chapter also provides an exercise that you can do with your child to help them stay grounded in reality.
Royelle had some fun with this one! He learned that he was creating movies inside his head about robbers breaking in, but since he was the director of the movie he was allowed to make up whatever ending he liked! Royelle had a good imagination so let's just say that things got quite creative, which I'm sure your child will enjoy! Hearing sounds in the house is a fear that is quite closely related to the fear of intruders. Some helpful information is also provided that could help your child understand and feel calmer about sounds in the night.
Like the fear of intruders bad dreams are movies inside your child's mind, except that they occur during sleep. And yet, these movies can change too. Royelle had some fun with this also, which could lead to smiles and giggles from you and your child. Then you and your child can have more fun with it every night all week long.
Once Royelle's level of anxiety had dropped to 1-2/10 we went on to tap into greater confidence and lock the good feelings into place. Royelle's level of confidence grew to 9 out of 10 (on the new confidence rating scale) and he was already happier sleeping in his own bed. Now he (and your child) have a solid concept of happy worry-free bedtimes continuing on into future.
Dr Mark Lauderdale is a child psychiatrist with over 30 years experience helping children with anxieties and fears.
The Wellspring Method was developed and refined for 20 years in clinical practice.
How much longer do you want your child's nighttime anxiety to continue? Waiting for it to clear up on its own could take a long time while the pattern becomes more entrenched with each passing month.