kids sleep bedtime

How do I stop my kids from stalling at bedtime?

Going to bed is not an easy transition for many children. While parents feel that getting rest at the end of the day is a blessing, children just do not agree. They would prefer the fun to go on until they drop. So how do you get them to understand that they need to get some sleep? You don’t. They are not going to understand, so stop over-explaining.

The trick to getting kids into bed at a certain time is setting up a routine that your child follows consistently. This doesn’t mean that it has to be the same time every night. But you will want to follow a certain routine when your children have certain things to do during the day, like going to school. All bedtime routines should have these things in common to keep your kids from stalling:

Everything you do to get ready for bed should be completed and teens minutes before bedtime. That doesn’t mean you start the routine 15 min. before, it means you start the routine 30 min. before so it is completed on time.

Write out on a piece of paper their bedtime routine. Remember to include good hygiene habits like brushing your teeth and washing your face. Have your child follow the routine and check off their list as they go. If it takes longer to complete this list and you are finished with everything on it with 15 min. left over before bedtime, start earlier the next night.

After your child is finished with their bedtime routine and they still have 15 min. allow them to do it down time activity like reading or journaling in their bed. When it is time for bed, tucked them in or for older kids go in and say good night.

Create a parenting contract encompassing everything above and including a consequence for stalling behaviors. One logical consequence that works well is subtracting time in 10 min. intervals from the next night’s bedtime. So every time your child gets up from bed after bedtime, for drink, to complain or for a bathroom break, 10 min. get subtracted from the next night’s bedtime. Remind your child that they are setting their bedtime for tomorrow. Follow-through the next evening or this consequence will never work.

When your child gets up in the morning in a good mood after a good night sleep, remind them that they went to bed on time and that the good feeling they are feeling because they got the rest their body needed. In this way, your child will begin to understand the importance of getting to sleep at night.

Please share your tips on getting your kids to stay in bed below in the comments area.

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