by Steve Hill
Many parents find trying to get their child to bed at night to be one big struggle. The child may play up, whinge and even cry. When in bed, the child may then repeatedly keep getting out of bed and coming downstairs. This article gives advice on how to successfully get your child into bed at night, without all of this fuss.
Some children even though they know that they are tired, do not want to miss out on any of the action or excitement. They want to spend as much time with mom and dad as possible. They can even see the fact that they have to go to bed before their parents as unjust and even cruel. These types of children will want to disrupt and even avoid going to bed at all cost.
I myself have two young children and have been through this experience myself. My daughter especially needs her sleep and can be very moody in the mornings, if she has not had a particular amount of hours of it. As a parent it can become very frustrating as well as upsetting when you see your child crying because they do not want to go to bed. Comments like, please dad just one more program on the television, were far too regular, and at times I felt like backing down.
I have now learnt via reading many books on parenting, how to best deal with this situation. Each child now has a set time when they have to be in bed by. This is a time that they have both agreed to!
They get changed into their pyjamas around half an hour before this time, and then can either spend that period of time playing with their toys or watching the television. If they want to play, we ensure that the games are relaxing ones and not too energetic.
If there is a program that is on later than their agreed bedtimes, I agree to video it for them, this way they know that they are not missing out etc.
I have agreed that I will read them a story at bedtime. This is something they both love and helps them to wind down and relax. They are also given a drink to go to bed with, therefore there is no need for them to keep coming downstairs. This drink is always a juice and should not be fizzy.
I have explained to each child the importance of sleep and that it should be something to enjoy and not to see as some sort of punishment. I have even gone as far as saying that I would love to go to bed at the time that they do, unfortunately their mother does not allow it.
I have tried to make their bedrooms their own little palace. A place that they want to spend time, a place which they find fun, relaxing and comfortable.
My son likes to hear music and therefore we play a tape of his favourite songs in his room. The volume is set quite low and this certainly helps him to get to sleep quite quickly.
These tips have helped to make our childrens bedtimes a pleasant experience, where it once was quite fraught. The children themselves are now into a routine, a routine they are happy with. I hope this advice proves useful to you as well. Good luck.