Do you have willful children in your home that do not anticipate the announcement that it is time for bed? Do you struggle with child bedtime in general?
We have all been there with kids that need that one extra story, a re-tuck into bed, 2 nightlights, and those few extra sips of water. I think as parents we sometimes wonder why do we struggle at night? Surely they are exhausted because quite frankly we know that on a personal note we definitely are! It is important for children to learn just how valuable their rest is. I have tried to explain to my boys several times that even though you are asleep your body is hard at work on the inside and also recuperating from all of those trees climbed, 10 trips around the block on the bicycle, and endless color marathons.
Teaching children to become comfortable with bedtime and respect the rules of bedtime is essential in getting things to go smoothly and ensuring they are well rested and so are you!
The truth is that bedtime can be successful, easy, and stress free. However, parents have to be invested in getting their children to bed. There are a 5 essentials to developing a successful bedtime routine.
5 Steps to Getting Kids to Bed
1. Set the time for lights out. This is not a negotiable time. Your kids will become accustomed to going to bed at this same time every day like clockwork!
2. Your kids are going to sleep when they are most comfortable. So keeping them in their beds requires some simple things such as a favorite blanket, teddy bear, or pillow. Never have a television going at bedtime.
3. A key element to having an easy bedtime if the routine for getting ready to bed. Before bed begin a winding down time 30 to 45 minutes before. This could include a quick clean up of toys, pj’s, teeth brushing, and story time. Keeping things low key before bed gets your child prepared for sleep.
4. Of course there are always those moments when it becomes an emotional situation. I know many of you can relate. Laying in the bed with one of my boys, scratching their back until my arm goes numb, only to find they are still awake when I try and sneak out of the bedroom. It is important to stay with a child that needs extra comfort but set reasonable limitations for the amount of time.
5. Establishing an effective bedtime routine can take days. I know what you are thinking, “Right now its just easier to keep doing things the way we are.” But it isn’t. Children have to become comfortable in their own beds and self-soothe just as they did as infants. If you have a child that continues to get out of bed simply take them back to their beds. It may take several times and you will become tired but keep at it. Take turns with your spouse so that you are not the only one committing to the bedtime routine. And of course offer reward and praise for a child that accomplishes bedtime.
Every family uses what works best for them. Getting to bed easy may take some time. It does require determination and consider bedtime an opportunity to build a stronger relationship with your child. As they grow these short moments will be heartfelt memories forever.
What does your child’s bedtime routine consist of?
Do you struggle with a strong willed child at your house? Here is the discipline method we’ve used for over a decade.