Is there a more dreaded word in the language of a young parent? For many of us, the very word "Bedtime" conjures up images of bleary-eyed, cranky children refusing to stay in their rooms. But bedtime doesn't need to be an ordeal. You can make it the most wonderful time in the child's day, (and yours as well).
Establish a Regular Routine
Wake Up at the Same Time Every Morning
The most important part of bedtime is actually in the morning. Wake the child up at the same time every day. That means, weekends, weekdays, summer or school day, the child always gets up at approximately the same time every day. No sleeping in.
|Many teachers can actually pinpoint the students who are allowed to sleep in over the weekends, because their performance on Mondays is significantly poorer due to lack of proper sleep.|
Why? Because a child who sleeps late will not be tired at night, will not want to go bed at bedtime. Simple as that. And if it is a school night? That means that the child is tired in the morning, unable to perform.
If the child gets up at 7am for school, then the child gets up at 7am every morning. If you have a child that resists going to bed at night, make this schedule mandatory immediately. You will see an instant change.
Go to Bed at the Same Time Every Night
Again, children crave routine. It makes them feel safe and lets them know what is required of them. If the child knows he goes to bed at 8 pm, he knows when bedtime is coming. Of course, he may resist or bargain for more time. That is his job as a kid. But, unless it’s a special occasion, say the Fourth of July, the bedtime sticks.
|If your child continuously gets out of bed and leaves their room, walk them right back. Don't allow them stay up, or they will continue to get out of bed.|
This also establishes a good sleeping routine. Kids who go to bed at the same time every night have been shown to perform better at school. They get enough sleep and their sleep is better, sounder, and more refreshing.