After a long day, getting your child off to bed easily and happily would be a dream-come-true for most parents. The last thing parents want after a long day is to struggle putting their child to bed. It’s one of the most exhausting issues for parents however, there is a way to help get children off to bed easier.
A “super-strategy” is the combination of explaining what to do combined with why it works. The double-whammy approach helps parents understand what is really going on behind the behaviour, enabling them to find a solution that actually works.
This proactive approach of planning a bedtime routine, promotes a more positive outcome with greater success. Reacting negatively and punishing children when they do not listen well, is less effective and misses out on a positive learning experience which can create more anxiety around bedtimes.
Super-Strategy: How Does it Work?
Encourage children to start winding-down before the bedtime routine even starts. Decrease distractors such as TV, screen-time and stimulating activities. Increase quiet activities such as reading, gentle activities or light conversations.
For best results, help your child to feel as successful as possible by doing it with them or offering guidance and a helping hand. Adapt the routine as needed for the age and development of the child.
Super-Strategy: Why it Works
When children are clear on what the expectations are and learn to repeat specific actions, bedtime rituals are uneventful and with less effort from their parents.
Knowing what will happen takes dispels most of the anxiety and confusion which are the common reasons why children act out. When things are clear and visually laid out, they know what to expect. This is why children thrive so well on structure.
Children demonstrate that they have reached the prediction point when they start to do parts of the routine all on their own.
Having a child go off to sleep feeling safe and secure can really help promote a sense of well-being and peace. It can also help young children fall asleep, stay asleep and get their required amount of sleep on a more consistent basis. Smooth-running bedtime routines help parents get their much-needed sleep too (without all the evening drama). Sweet Dreams!
Julie is a mom, an Early Childhood Consultant and owner of Miss Behaviour: parenting coach and consulting services. Learn more through her tips and blogs at www.missbehaviour.ca