Social Stories for Sleeping in Your Own Bed

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

It is so common for children to want to sleep in bed with their parents. If this is not working for the family, the social stories in this lesson might help your students learn to sleep in their own beds.

Independent Sleeping

As a teacher of students with special needs, you probably know that any problems they have in their home life can trickle into their life in school, and one of your jobs is to support their families through a variety of developmental struggles.

One area that can be incredibly hard for families is sleep. Many students do not like to sleep in their own beds; whether scared or simply lonely, they want to sleep with their parents or, sometimes, siblings. As children grow older, co-sleeping may not work well for children and their families. The social stories in this lesson offer explicit scripted language for helping your students think through what it means to sleep in their own beds.

Sleeping Alone Amidst Fear

Every night, my parents put me to sleep in my own bed. I have a beautiful room with blue walls, and a soft, comfortable bed. I sleep with two teddy bears and a night light. Sometimes, I cannot fall asleep because I start to think of scary things! I get worried that monsters and spiders are going to come in my bed. I even worry about bad guys. Other times, I fall asleep but then I wake up feeling scared because of a bad dream. When these things happen, I go to my parents' bed and fall asleep with them. I cozy up to my mom and dad and sleep the rest of the night in their bed.

Now that I am getting bigger, though, it is my job to sleep in my own bed. Sleeping in my own bed shows that I am growing up, getting braver, and getting stronger. If I feel scared at night, I can say to myself, 'Scared is just a feeling.' I can write down my scared thoughts and feelings in my nighttime notebook and show them to my parents in the morning. I can close my eyes and picture beautiful fairies and flowers chasing all the bad thoughts away. I can snuggle my teddy bears until I feel calm and safe again.

When I sleep all night in my own bed, I feel proud of myself, and my parents feel proud of me too. I know that learning to sleep in my own bed is part of growing up and learning to take good care of myself.

Sleeping Alone Amidst Loneliness

When I was younger, I went to sleep in my mom's bed next to my mom and my little sister. We would all cuddle close and go to sleep together, and we would cuddle all night long. Sleeping with my mom and my sister felt cozy and comfortable. We all felt safe together.

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