Martin the Monkey: A Calming Bedtime Story
Illustrated by Jesse Willmon
By: Laura Betts, LICSW, MSW
Click here to download Martin the Monkey
Helping Your Kids with Bedwetting Issues
After a day full of frenetically paced learning and playing, it can be immensely helpful for kids to have a consistent way to wind down before it’s time to sleep. All children, but especially those who are troubled by anxiety, can benefit from a regular bedtime routine that includes simple relaxation techniques. (Though some families offer snacks or drinks as part of a bedtime routine, this may contribute to nighttime wetting. Talk with your child’s doctor about limiting liquids in the evening if this is a problem for your child.)
You know your child best, so you should tailor his bedtime routine to his individual temperament and level of development. Bedtime routines often include favorite stories, relaxing music, and rituals that are soothing to your child. (If your child wets the bed, a comforting routine is especially important as falling asleep may be a very nervous time for him.)
The following story introduces three relaxation techniques: progressive muscle relaxation, positive visualization, and deep-belly breathing. These techniques take practice, but performed nightly, they may help calm your child before bed.
Consult your child’s pediatrician about any bedwetting questions you might have. And if you have concerns about your child’s level of anxiety, ask your pediatrician for a referral to a mental-health professional who specializes in working with children and anxiety.
Martin the Monkey is a positive, calming story that you can print and your child can personalize by coloring in images his or herself. Having a familiar story for your bedtime routine is a great way to ease any anxieties your child may have about sleeping or bedwetting.