My New Year's Wish to You: May you and the children in your lives embrace the New Year with confidence and faith in yourselves and in your dreams.

In January, we typically have one eye on the past and one on the future. After acknowledging our accomplishments and shortcomings in the past year, we establish our New Year’s intentions and goals with renewed hope.

This type of reflection would be unrealistic and inappropriate for most young children. However, we can help them to develop a positive mindset. Setting and applying two simple intentions will nurture their belief and faith in themselves and encourage them to confidently step towards their hopes, desires, goals and dreams. These intentions are: to replace worries with desire and faith, and to speak and think more positively. (In child-like lingo, this would amount to imagining that things will happen the way we want them to, and always saying good things about ourselves.)

     - Patti

Dream the dream and
step into it!

Replace Worries with Desire
and Faith

Many children are wonderfully optimistic and possess a feeling of self-assurance and confidence in themselves, and in their ability to attain their goals. However, other children seem to be born worriers. They may worry about speaking in front of their class, that they are stupid, that no one likes them, etc. etc. Their list of worries can go on and on. Worrying is one of the most disregarded forms of stress. Instead of focusing on what we desire or want, worry focuses on what will happen when things go wrong.

We attract what we pay attention to, but oftentimes children (and adults) don’t realize that they are focusing on what they don’t want, rather than what they do want. For instance, if you and your child have been sick, you’re probably both clear that this is not what you want. However, if you’re thinking and worrying about being sick, it’s an entirely different perspective than focusing on being well.

When your child expresses a worry by telling you what she doesn’t want to have happen, help her to identify and then start focusing on what she truly wants to have happen instead. For instance, if your daughter says, “I don’t want to go to the party because no one will play with me,” help her to identify what she wants by asking, “What would you like to have happen at the party?” And then, “What if you have fun at the party?”

Children who worry a lot are great candidates for visualization and imagery. The truth is, worry is negative visualization and it takes a vivid imagination to imagine such horrible scenarios! Gradually, teach your children to focus on their wants and desires, rather than their fears and worries. Tell stories in which your child faces and overcomes a fear or attains his goal. Eventually, he will be able to visualize these positive scenarios on his own.

Think and Speak Positively

Challenge your child to direct all statements that start with “I am,” towards positive statements and goals. Negative affirmations such as, “I’m just stupid,” or “I’m always sick,” are very harmful because they can penetrate a child’s subconscious, which accepts them—hook, line, and sinker. Our minds and bodies are not separate entities—they are connected.

When children create positive pictures and self-suggestion, it can have a beneficial effect on both their physical and emotional health. It sounds simplistic; however, children who picture themselves as happy and healthy will be taking an important step towards becoming happy and healthy throughout their entire lives. Happiness and improved health are gifts that children can give themselves through the power of their own thoughts and imaginations.

As parents, we always need to keep in mind that we are our children’s heroes and role models. If we are continuously worried and self-critical, our children are likely to be the same. Worrying projects negative energy and it doesn’t do you or your children a bit of good.

In fact, when children are aware that their parents are worried about them it projects a lack of faith and they tend to feel more anxious. Admittedly, there are times when our worries are well founded. Even then, instead of worrying and imagining the worst possible scenario, try to focus on the positive outcome that you desire and on actions that can help to bring it about.

Positive thinking is a discipline that can be developed through practice. Let’s help our children to replace anxious, self-critical thoughts and words with a wonderful feeling of self-assurance and absolute faith that their desires and wishes will come true.

January, 2006

A Complete Guide for Parents on children's Sleep and Relaxation


  • The original Floppy Sleep Game CD & 7 additional tracks
  • A 4-week program for kids who refuse to snooze
  • Bedtime activities, rituals & relaxation techniques
  • Tips for relieving stress & anxiety
  • Foods & supplements that promote sleep.
  • Information on sleep disorders
  • Tips for relieving stress & anxiety
  • Health problems & neurobiological disorders that affect sleep

You can learn more about the book and order it via our website by clicking here.

Or you can order through by clicking here.

Patti Teel is the fairy godmother of peaceful bedtimes.

Dubbed “The Dream Maker” by
People Magazine
and “The Sleep Lady”by
The Wall Street Journal

Patti Teel is the creator of a highly acclaimed audio series that teaches children a fail-proof way to relax themselves to sleep through relaxation exercises (based in yoga), visualizations, music & storytelling.  And now her new book for parents, The Floppy Sleep Game (to be released on November 1st), picks up where the recordings left off.  It contains a step-by-step program for parents to follow and teach their children to relax and/or fall asleep.  The techniques from The Floppy Sleep Game book also help children cope with fear and anxiety in a healthy way. 

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The Floppy Sleep Game Book & Visualization

The Floppy Sleep Game Book includes a program which teaches children to relax and fall asleep independently. In the program, visualization is the third and final step. The preceding steps: guided relaxation and attending to the breath, help children to arrive at a relaxed, dreamy state so that they are ready to visualize.

Some people think that visualization is ineffective for them if they don’t actually “see” images in their minds. Most children are able to actually see images; however, even if they don’t, the process is still useful. If children (or adults) can remember events that have already happened then they have the ability to visualize, creating something in their imaginations that is not in the here and now. It’s conjuring for the sheer purpose of making yourself feel good.

The Dream Academy

Patti Teel's Dream Academy is touring schools, hospitals, libraries, and bookstores throughout the country. At these fun, family events, Patti teaches parents and children the relaxation techniques from her new release, The Floppy Sleep Game Book. At the Dream Academy events, kids will be practicing the three R's by Resting their bodies, Relaxing their minds, and Refreshing their spirits. Click here to learn more about the Dream Academy.

If you would like to book a Dream Acandemy event in your area,
please email Patti at

The Dream Maker's January Dream Starters

Dream Starters are visualizations which promote relaxation, imagination and well-being as they guide children into the world of dreams.

Getting Ready

To prepare for these dream starters, (or visualizations), create a quiet comfortable atmosphere in which your child can relax.

Step One ~ Progressive Relaxation (Tensing & Relaxing Muscle Groups)

Have your child lie down in his bed.  Have him lift each arm and leg individually, holding each limb tightly before loosely flopping it down on his bed.  Then have him wrinkle his face and hold his eyes tightly closed, before relaxing his face.  (Tense each muscle group for at least 5 seconds.)

Step Two ~ Focus on the breath

Have your child get very quiet and watch his own breath.

Step Three ~ Creative Visualization

Now that your child is relaxed, read (or tell) one of the following visualizations.  Of course, feel free to modify it according to your child’s age and interests. 

Your Special Star

It’s time to go to Dream Land. When you arrive, New Year’s dreams are filling Dream Land with sparkling dream dust. The tiny flecks dart through the sky and sprinkle your pajamas, hair and lashes with sparkling light. Tonight, the gigantic rainbow crystals of Dream Land look like snow covered mountains. They begin to hum and softly glow under the cover of dream dust, repeatedly blinking and turning red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet and then silver. They are signaling you that it’s time for the Dream Academy to begin.

You and the other children line up outside of the shimmering crystal dome of the Dream Academy. The Dream Academy door opens and the kindly Dream Maker welcomes you. Good evening, (child’s name), I’m glad you’re here. The Dream Maker reminds you and the other dreaming children to hang any worries you might have on Willow, the wise and sturdy tree that grows next to the Dream Academy. If you have any troubles, give them to Willow now. He’ll take care of them so you’re free to dream. (Pause) You and the other dreamers enter the Dream Academy. Instead of sitting at desks, there are clouds to lie down upon. Find your own soft, comfy cloud and sink down into its softness. (Pause)

The Dream Academy classroom has no ceiling so you can gaze at the beautiful moon and the bright, twinkling stars. The Dream Maker tells you and the other dreaming children that you each have a special star which first appeared in the sky when each of you were born. Look up at the sky and find your star. (Pause) It’s the one that’s winking and blinking at you. (Pause) Your little cloud begins to take you up into the sky towards your bright, sparkling star. As you float closer to your star, it twinkles with excitement. Finally, you are directly under your own star. The light from your special star shines down upon you, making you feel warm and tingly from the top of your head to the tips of your toes. (Pause) You are ready to sleep and dream. Your star showers you with its sparkling silvery dream dust, making all your dreams come true. As you sleep your star will watch over you, dancing and twinkling as you dream the night away. Sleep and dream now. Sleep; sleep sleep—and dream, dream, dream.