Right after the meal time and bath time battles, here comes the bedtime battle! Kids seem to have lots of energy at night but not when you ask them to pick up their toys or eat their food. If parents have a tough time getting their kids to bed, try out some of these methods.
1. Set a consistent bedtime routine
Kids work well with routines because they can anticipate what comes next and that cuts down anxiety and worry in a child. Keep bedtimes and the routines leading up to it consistent such as brushing teeth, changing into PJs and reading a book before bed. Consistency helps kids cope with the transition or change.
2. Give them choices
No one likes to be ordered around so provide kids choices. Let them choose which pyjama colours they want to wear and which books they want to read. By giving them choices, they’ll feel like they have a say in their routine too.
3. Spend time with your kid other than just at bedtime
If bedtime is the only time they get to spend one-on-one time with you, they are sure to keep you in the room for as long as they can! To avoid this sticky situation, spend time with your kids other than just bedtime. Parents can sneak in opportunities to read or play with them a few hours after work or singalong during their bath time.
4. Keep it boring
Literally bore them to sleep. If the child asks for a kiss, give a kiss in silence and exit the room. If the child wants water, get them a glass and tell them it’s the only water they’re going to get tonight and be firm about it. Sometimes kids like to ‘trick’ their parents and sending parents back and forth out of the room amuses them.
5. Stick to your guns
If the kid throws a tantrum when you leave the room, don’t return immediately or it’ll give the impression that they can call you by acting out. Let them be for a few minutes before going in to reassure them everything is fine but you got to leave the room right after that. Again, be firm with your stand because if parents keep going back in, they’ll think they can get parents back in the room if they act out long enough.
6. Keep entertainment to the confines of the bed
If a child has a toy or object (bantal busuk is in this category) that calms them, having those items in bed will provide comfort to the child. They can play with it but they must never leave the bed. This will be helpful for parents with twins because the other twin can entertain himself first while the other is put to bed first.
Also, definitely no gadgets a few minutes before bed and in bed. The blue light from gadgets disturbs the sleep-inducing hormone and thus the sleeping routine.
If the child keeps saying he isn’t tired, let him listen to music or tell him a story in his darkened room. Sometimes patting the kids to sleep is soothing too and they’ll drift off to sleep.
Feature image from Pilates and Yoga Fitness