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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:
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.
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.
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.
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!)
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