Bedtime Hassles


Bedtime Hassles

Some kids make lots of struggle while going to bed. Some demands parents to tell a story, some demands water and some wants to go washrooms. Sometimes such behavior of kids may make you angry and frustrated.

Understanding Your Child, Yourself, and the Situation

There isn't a kid who doesn't try to extend bedtime at least once in a while. Wanting to belong and be part of the action is a human need. Serious bedtime problems, however, are most often created by parents. Kids function best when they have a routine and a sense of order.  

Suggestions to tackle such condition:

1. Be available during the bedtime routine instead of trying to do  other things. And try to make this routine.  

2. Once you have given your undivided attention for at least 20 to 30 minutes of bedtime routine, stick to the allotted time for the routine to end with confidence.

3. After your child is in bed, refuse to play the game. If she leaves her room, gently take her by the hand and kindly and firmly return her to her room. Use no words. You may need to repeat this action several times before children learn that you mean what you say and will follow through with kind and firm action.

4. If your children have developed the habit of manipulation, it may take three to five nights of kindness and firmness before they learn they can trust you to mean what you say.  

5. Sit down with your children and admit your mistake. Tell them that you have allowed them to form some bedtime habits that aren't good for them or for you. This is a good time to start teaching them that mistakes are wonderful opportunities to learn, so now you can learn together how to solve the problem.

6. Some parents put locks on the outside of their children's doors to keep them in their rooms. This is dangerous and disrespectful. Keep taking your child back to her room. If you remain kind and firm, it probably won't require more than 10 to 20 trips the first night. Remember that weaning has never been easy for the "weaner" nor the "weanee," but is necessary for both to reach interdependence.

Avoid future problem with planning ahead:

1. Set up the bedtime routine during the day. Let the kids help you make a list of all the things that need to be done before they go to bed. Help them make charts of the things to be done. Small kids enjoy finding pictures in magazines to represent the things they need to do. The charts can be posted on the doors of their rooms.

2. When it is time to begin the routine, tell the kids, "It's time for bed" instead of "You have to go to bed." Do not dictate them. Handle them with lots of love, gentleness. Encourage involvement by asking questions that involve the children such as, "What is the first thing we need to do to get ready for bed?" Or offer limited choices such as, "Do you want to choose a story or do you want me to?"

3. Some kids find it helpful to play "Beat the Clock" at bedtime. Set a timer for the agreed-upon time, and let the kids scamper around getting everything done before the timer goes off.

4. Let the kids know that you will be available for story time ten minutes before bedtime. If they have completed their tasks, there will be time for a story; if they haven't, there is time for a tickle and a kiss, but the story has to wait until the next day.

5. As the kids get a little older, involve them in discussing bedtime tasks and give them a limited choice to decide their bed time. You must follow the routine on daily basis.

6. Let kids know that bedtime means time to go to their rooms, not necessarily time to go to sleep. Kids are different, and some may like to play or read before they fall asleep. If they aren't bothering anyone else, let them fall asleep when they're ready.

7. Many parents struggle over bedtime because they are afraid their children will be tired and crabby the next day if they don't get enough sleep. Treat bedtime as a separate issue. If your children are tired and crabby, you can ask them to be tired and crabby in their rooms. They may even take a nap. You need not to worry about their sleep issues.  

  • Clinic 1
    Dr. Hemendra Gupta's Child Care Center
    B-1/560, Shiva Residency, Chitrakoot, Near Akshardham Chouraha, Jaipur-302021
  • Clinic 2
    Gupta Child & Dental Clinic
    472, Shanti Nagar, Opp. Durgapura Rly. Station Near Rukmani Birla high school, Jaipur-302018

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