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Four Tips to Make Your Child’s Bedtime Easier

If you are having trouble getting your kids to go to bed (and stay there!) you are not alone. While bedtime has always presented challenges, there are now so many more distractions that parents have to deal with. I hope these tips help.

  1. Decide on what time bedtime is and stick to it.
    For younger children, 8:30 is a good time. For twelve-year-olds and older, 9:00 is a good time. (Please adjust these times to your particular situation.)
  2. Have children turn in all electronic equipment at or before bedtime and put it someplace other than their rooms.
    Think about having a docking station in a closet, and if you have to lock the door, do so. You can also decide that children only get to use their devices, etc. on weekends. During the school week they have homework to do, etc. If your children throw a fit and act like a deprived addicted person every day when they have to turn in their electronics, abstinence during the week may be easier for all concerned.
    I would like to give you, as the parent, permission to enforce abstinence—period, if you are so inclined. That is an option. You may discover that taking something away opens the door to letting something else in, for example, reading a book, playing dress-up, etc. If you are in a situation in which your children are already addicted, you can begin your abstinence as a family experiment for a period of time, say, two weeks or a month. Do it as a family and see if you don’t enjoy playing games on Tuesday nights, or cooking together, or listening to music, or reading books.
  3. Make sure the children’s bedrooms are conducive to sleeping.
    If their beds are covered with toys and crayons, it won’t be easy to go to bed. If their rooms are too warm or too cold, that is also an issue.
  4. Each person in the family may not have their own bedroom, but (s)he should have a designated sleeping space.
    If there is a lot of travelling around all night, refer to tip 3 and if everything checks out there, get the family into the habit of staying in one place, all night.

Don’t be discouraged if it takes awhile to see a difference. If things at your house have reached a certain level of chaos (It can happen in a hurry!) it may take awhile to reach a certain level of peace. Be patient with yourselves and your children and see if these small changes don’t make a difference over time. Pleasant dreams to all of you!