Bedtime is the point of the day where parents finally get to tuck their children away under the covers and retreat into adult time. No more coloring books everywhere, or Disney sing-alongs echoing through the house. They don’t have to clean anyone’s diaper or break up fights between siblings. Nighttime is often cherished by tired moms and dads who have been parenting all day, so when it’s lights out, it can be incredibly frustrating when the little ones won’t budge.
A lot of parents struggle with getting their kids to go to bed and stay in bed. They may have tried everything from giving in, to trying to rationalize with them, to even getting angry, yet nothing has worked.
However, exhausted parents shouldn’t lose hope. There are ways to get your children to bed and keep them there, as long as you apply the right methods. Here are some of the most effective ways to make bedtime easier when you’ve got kids resisting to sleep.
Create a Ritual
Even though kids may resist rules, they actually thrive off them. When you give kids boundaries, they feel safe. By knowing exactly what to expect every day without any sort of a grey area, they feel a sense of regularity and confidence.
Bedtime goes a lot smoother if you have a military-like structure which happens exactly the same way every night. Although your nighttime routine can consist of any number of things, most people find that taking a bath is a great way to wind them down. They should also upkeep their dental health by brushing every night regardless of whether they protest. Finally, something, like reading a book or singing a lullaby, can be an excellent end to a ritual before they fall asleep.
No Screen Stimulation
Even though tired parents may be ready to sit on the couch and relax at the end of a long day letting their kids watch tv with them before bed, it can be the reason they’re not falling asleep.
Experts recommend turning off screens at least an hour before bedtime to help them get into a sleepy state.
Consider a Reward System
If you have a particularly stubborn child who is resisting bedtime even after applying these methods, you may want to start a behavior chart.
Each night that your child successfully sleeps in their bed without any issues, they will get a sticker. Eventually, when they get enough stickers, they get a reward of your choice.
This can be a fantastic incentive for getting even the most difficult of sleepers to stay in bed. They’ll also feel a sense of pride seeing that they reached their goal through hard work.