After a long day, most parents are eager to collapse into their beds for some well-deserved rest. Unfortunately, children don’t always share this sentiment. From the over-excited toddler who wants to play a little longer to the social teenager who wants to talk with their friends for just five more minutes, bedtime can be incredibly stressful. The good news is, there are a few simple tips parents can utilize at their kid’s bedtime, no matter the age of the children.
It’s important to note that for children, bedtime may come at different times of the evening. Toddlers, for example, may have a 7 p.m. bedtime, while teenagers can stay up until 9 or 10 p.m. each evening. If you’d like your evenings to be far easier, keep reading to learn some helpful tips.
Establish a Kid’s Bedtime Routine
All children thrive on routines, because, like adults, they like to know what to expect. From the time they become toddlers, you should create a bedtime routine and stick to it. The exact routine may vary between families, but might look like this:
- 30 minutes of playtime
- Bath time
- Brush teeth
- Get into pajamas
- Lights out
At some point, all kids will put up a fuss at bedtime. However, if you keep a consistent reward and discipline plan, it can help them understand they should take kid’s bedtime seriously. Both discipline and rewards should be relative to the cause.
For example, if your teen adheres to bedtime all week, you could allow them to stay up an extra hour on Friday and Saturday nights. But, if they do not adhere to bedtime, you could take their phone away for the two to three hours leading up to bedtime. If your small child does a good job brushing their teeth and getting into their pajamas, you could read them an extra story from their favorite book.
It may sound silly, but if you stay calm instead of yelling or acting stressed out at bedtime, it can help your children get to sleep, especially the little ones. Yelling and acting out can ramp up children’s energy levels as they feed off your own stressed-out levels.
If you utilize the above tips at your kid’s bedtime, you can slowly but surely start to eliminate the stress surrounding it. It may take a few tries to establish positive behavior but will be well worth the effort.