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Five Ways to Get Your Kids to go to Bed

Five Ways to Get Your Kids to go to Bed

It is a well-known right-of-parenting-passage to struggle through bedtime refusal. The good thing about this is... you're not alone.

The bad thing? It's extremely frustrating when you just want 5 minutes to yourself to chill out on the couch but your kids want 7 more drinks, 2 more cuddles, 1 more story and then, of course, they need to pee because of those 7 drinks I mentioned earlier.

Thank goodness, there are some really simple strategies you can use to help make bed time run a little smoother:

Avoid Technology Before Bed

If watching TV before bed is part of your child's routine, it could actually be making it more difficult for them to go to sleep. There are plenty of alternative activities they will enjoy that can help them get to sleep quicker. Click here to learn more.

Relaxation Techniques
There are heaps of different relaxation techniques you can get your kids doing before bed, plus many websites and apps are out there which you can try for free! Relaxation activities don't need to take a long time, just 10 minutes should be plenty, and can be easily woven into the bedtime routine. Click here to learn more.

Use the Bedroom for Sleeping Only
In some families, children use their bedroom not just for sleeping, but for other activities such as homework, free play, gaming etc. Associating the bedroom with activities other than sleep may make it more difficult for them to go to sleep at bedtime. To learn more, click here.

Establish Rules
If you're having a constant battle with getting your kids to stay in bed once they get there, try establishing rules about going to bed. For example, once you are in bed, you must stay there until morning.

You may wish to consider exceptions such as; you may get up if there is an emergency (agree on the definition of emergency), or you desperately need to go to the toilet. To learn more about this strategy, click here.

Break The Rules
I know, I just said establish rules. But... we all like to have a break from the rules from time to time and it's good for kids to know what they're allowed to have a bit of extra leeway. 

So, while it's great to have a bedtime routine and rules around bedtime, consider whether there always needs to be bedtime rules in your house?

Sometimes rules and routine can be a lot easier to follow when you know you're going to get a break from them at some stage (you know, kind of like, it's easier to go to work on Friday because you know you're getting two days off after that!).

For this strategy to be effective, you will need to work with your children to agree on times when bedtime rules can be broken. Click here for examples of how to implement this strategy.

Did these strategies work for you? Let us know in the comments below how you get your kids to go to bed (and stay there!)

References:

  • Adams, s., Daly, JK. & Williford, D. (2013). Adolescent Sleep and Cellular Phone Use: Recent Trends and Implications for Research. Health Services Insights. (6)
  • Gradisar, M. Wolfson, A., Harvey, A., Hale, L., Rosenberg, R. & Czeisler, A. (2013). The Sleep and Technology Use of Americans: Findings from the National Sleep Foundation’s 2011 Sleep in America Poll. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. 9(12)

Looking for more strategies?

 

Download our App Parenting Therapy in the iTunes App Store to access the 30 best parenting strategies

 

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SharonIsabelle @ Life With IsabelleCharlotteDivyaLecy | A Simpler Grace Recent comment authors
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Lecy | A Simpler Grace
Guest

Setting healthy bedtime habits is so important because they will eventually become the habits they keep as adults. These are great tips you share!

Divya
Guest

I’ve heard the “use your bedroom for sleeping” thing before and I’ve learned to do that with myself too! I won’t sit in my bed to study or read – only for sleep! I’d like to think it’s what contributes to my sleep-filled nights!

Charlotte
Guest

Interesting–I’ve never heard of the “use the bedroom for sleeping only” rule but sounds like sound advice! Thanks for sharing–you always have great advice for parents!

Isabelle @ Life With Isabelle
Guest

Ahh I’m definitely guilty of always using technology before bed! I don’t have kids old enough yet, but these are great tips and are things I should probably start doing myself first anyway 🙂

Sharon
Guest

I love your tip about leaving the bedroom for sleeping only. My husband and I do that now and it works wonders! We have to make sure to do the same with our future children.