This article is the fourth in a series about sleep and kids. The first is a post on why sleep is important for kids. The second is an awesome little tip on getting baby to sleep through the night. The third is about getting kids to sleep. This one is about the most dreaded word in a kid’s vocabulary…BEDTIME!
Some kids hate bedtime. They have soooo much they still want to do! How can you help your child look forward (or least not hate) bedtime?
Make staying up boring – Turn off the television, ask for help doing chores (not as a punishment), or sit down and read quietly without giving your child attention. Once they realize staying up isn’t fun, they will be more likely to want to sleep.
Tire them out – I wrote a whole article on how to tire a kid out and I recommend trying them all. They really worked for my son and he was a ball of energy when he was small.
Teach them the importance of sleep – There are articles and books that will show kids that everyone need sleep and it helps them to be healthy and strong.
Make bedtime more appealing – Instead of saying “Time for bed,” try saying, “Let’s go lie down in your room and read stories.”
Be firm – Kids are trained by their parents and they need to sleep. If you teach your kids whining, crying, pleading, or negotiating works then they will do it. If you don’t have it in you, resort to trickery (see below).
Trickery – Hey, there’s nothing wrong with trickery when it comes to the important stuff. Kids and parents need sleep so do whatever you have to get it. I’m totally guilty of allowing Tyler to negotiate his way out of things (see above) so I always say it’s time for bed 30 minutes before I really want him to go to bed. Then when he says, “But mom just one more (show, chapter, etc.)” I let him. Then I get firm after he gets his way once. That way he feels like he has some control but really, he’s doing what I want.
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