Sometimes getting the kids to bed is not as easy as parents would like it to be. Summer is coming to an end and that means that a routine bedtime will become a part of a preschooler’s schedule. In Step2’s last blog, Back to School Tips for Preschoolers, it was suggested that if your child has fallen out of a bedtime routine, it is essential to begin getting back on track before school begins. However, that is easier said than done.
Here are some great tips from Parenthood.com to help ease the struggle and win the bedtime battle!
1. Deal with your own stress and emotions before you begin the bedtime routine. This is a great idea! By relaxing and calming down before the potential battle may begin, it is a good to take a step back and assess how you will handle the bedtime situation. Children may resist going to sleep if they are being yelled at. The calmer a parent is, the less resistant a child will be.
2. Ease the transition to bed for your children. Warn your children ahead of time that bedtime is coming up. You do not want to completely drag them away from the television or playtime. Participating in bedtime tasks earlier on in the night may ease the transition and not surprise children that it is time for bed. Having them brush their teeth after dinner or putting on their pajamas (which means no more outdoor play!) an hour before bed limits them to what they can do to try to delay their bedtime.
3. Negotiate rules with your children. Let your children help create the rules for bedtime. However, make sure to stand your ground! Talk about the benefits of going to sleep at a good time on the weekdays so that they can have special rewards of staying up later on the weekends.
4. Create an environment that fosters sleep. If your child has toys all over their room before bedtime, they are more likely to want to continue to play and become easily distracted. Make sure a child’s toys are put away in toy chests. Also, make sure you have a good book to read to them to help them focus on going to sleep.
5. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Some days are going to be harder than others to get a child to sleep. If they are 15 minutes late for their bed time, do not stress out. However, make sure to emphasize that a bedtime routine is important to your little ones!