Hello Friends! This is YaYa. From time-to-time I will be posting interesting “parent” suggestions for all to read. Join me and learn, enjoy and share with other readers your own thoughts and tips. We hope to change these topics weekly (or as frequently as I can get to it – this is one busy YaYa). Feel free to join in the discussion. All view points are welcome and encouraged.
Are you on your last nerve when it comes to getting your child to go to bed? Tears flowing freely? Tension headache starting? Let’s chat. You can take over an hour of your “precious time” and go through 7 different kinds of “heck and howdy” just to be the winner of each night’s Bedtime Bedlam.
Your child is adamant – they don’t want to go to bed! They are scared to go to bed alone. They need another drink. They need another snack. They need one more book. Sound familiar? They have your number. Plain and simple. Somewhere along the way, those little Rockstars (or Rhinos) figured you out big time. If they are not going to their bed to sleep, still sleeping with you or crying for hours only to get their way, they have won the battle. Time to get your “time” back. Here goes:
If your child’s dreams are not of sugar plums and sleep is not peaceful and happy, you might want to try this quick and pretty darn easy tip. Talk! Yep, talk to them. I don’t care if they are 1, 5 or 14 years of age. For one week, you talk everyday about how bedtime is going to be a new adventure starting in 7 days. Then 6 days and so on. Tell them how it is going to work – even if they say no – you continue the “talk.” On the day of reckoning you tell them that this is the night. Let them put into THEIR bed any stuffed animal or special toy (which you can remove after the sleep fairy comes) they wish to have. Now is the time for your special arsenal. You carry in a small TV. Yes, I said television. This is going to thrill them beyond words and they will immediately turn on their sonar that scans the room for “what the heck are my parents up to?” A TV in my bedroom? At night? Now you have their attention. You give them a choice of what is going to be watched. For the under five year olds, I prefer a video or DVD of their favorite pleasant cartoon – the one hour ones are the best! You tell them that this is their “time for sleep to come” TV. Turn the lights off. The light from the TV will be enough for them. If you are nervous, leave the hallway light on for the first few nights. If they get out of bed the TV has to be turned off and it won’t be tried again until the next night. This is a tough one I know, but it will work if you are consistent. Explain to them that this is a special treat just for them since they are Rockstars now. If bedtime at your house is normally 8:00, start at 7:30. Use that 30 minutes for their little bodies to relax and the sandman to come. Check on them, but don’t go in and for goodness sakes, don’t stay in with them and watch the show. Quiet, quiet, relax time is what is needed for them now. Let me know how this worked for you. It has never missed for anyone that I have shared this with to date, so I hope this will work for you!