For children having difficulty getting to sleep, a different kind of story.
A story to use when everyone is tired and your little joy has been trying to go to sleep and now they are overtired.
Make sure that they really are tired and are snuggled up in bed, asking them to close their eyes and imagine this scene will help the story. Say the story slowly, leaving pauses for their imagination, letting your voice be calm and relaxed.
Breathe at the same speed as your child speaking as they breathe out. Just imagine that once upon a time there was a ladybird that lived in a house high up in an oak tree. Can you see the tall oak tree with its strong branches high up in the air? The leaves rustling with the wind. That is where the ladybird lived, in her little house.
Well, it wasn't really a house, more of a hole in a branch high up in the oak tree. And it was only one room, which makes it a very small and cosy house. On one side of the ladybirds small room was a little kitchen and a small table, this was where the ladybird cooked delicious meals. And when the ladybird cooked the delicious smell would fill her little house and spill out of the windows. Passing birds and animals would stop and wonder where the wonderful smell came from.
The ladybird slept on the other side of this little room. Here was her bed, a high squishy comfy bed covered with a beautiful red duvet. The ladybird loved the colour red and had chosen this duvet especially for her bed. I wonder which colour you would choose.
It was just at the end of summer and there was a slight chill in the air coming in through the ladybirds open window next to her little bed. But this didn't bother her as she had lit the first fire of the year in her small fireplace. Now her home was filled with the wonderful scent of the fire and felt warm and cosy.
If you look over towards the ladybird's bed you can see that underneath it she has stored some of her precious things. A few boxes of books and some old family photos, so that whenever she felt like it the ladybird could remember a wonderful holiday just by looking at the pictures. And if she wanted a story her books were there waiting for her. Tales of princesses in far off lands were her favourite stories, of rescues and wonders and happy endings. Tall castles and beautiful gowns, balls with princesses and princes dancing together as the music played on into the night.
Tonight as the ladybird got into her bed she felt the softness of the bed welcome her tired little body and as her head sank on her pillow she looked around her home, her bed fitted snugly in the corner of the room so that she could see her home as she drifted to sleep, the fire was now just glowing quietly and filled her home with a lovely warm light. This light made the ladybird feel safe and she let herself sink further into her comfortable soft bed. The ladybirds house was filled with the soft smell of wood smoke, the wood crackling as it burnt lazily in the fireplace.
The ladybird's red pillow felt smooth and soft under her head as she started to relax in her bed, the coolness on her cheek relaxing her. Her duvet covering her, keeping her warm and safe, feeling gentle against her skin.
As she lay in her soft bed she could just see out of her window and she noticed that the oak leaves were turning to red and brown as the autumn started to take hold, and as she watched the lady-bird noticed that one of the leaves, which was no longer green but now a beautiful red, swayed in the soft breeze and slowly started to fall from the tree.
This was the first leaf to fall, and it started to drift down and down, turning gently over in the soft autumn breeze, going deeper and deeper, down and down. The red leaf drifting ever gently downwards falling deeper and deeper towards the soft green blanket of grass waiting for it under the tree.
Deeper and deeper the first leaf to fall, there would be many leaves to follow deeper and deeper rolling and drifting gently deeper and deeper.
And as the leave fell down and down deeper and deeper the ladybird felt more and more relaxed, safe in her comfortable bed, drifting down and down deeper and deeper.
The leaf gently rolling towards the ground, ready to sleep on the soft earth, and as it finally drifted past all the branches of the oak tree, deeper and deeper over and over, softly landing on the earth which was waiting to give the leaf a soft bed for the winter. The ladybird drifted further down into dreams of castles and adventures, happy and safe in her home.
By Kimberly Willis BSc, Phd, Cert Hypno, NLP Practitioner
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Biography: Dr Kimberly Willis is a Hypnotherapist, Life Coach and NLP Practitioner based at Harley Street, London and Sheffield.
Kimberly is passionate about working with people and helping them achieve their full potential by overcoming issues holding them back such as phobias, smoking, stress, panic attacks, weight and confidence.
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