3 Bedtime No No’s for Moms

bedtime routine

It’s the end of a long day. All you want to do is get your kids to bed quick and watch your favorite show, talk to your husband, or just have some alone time. You have been running all day taking care of everyone and you’re just done. They are finally down and as you are headed to the living room you hear, “Mooooooom!” and you want to scream.

We get it. Bedtime can be hard on moms. We’re tired, and our patience has just about run out. But bedtime is such an important time for children, and it’s such a wonderful opportunity to bond with your child. Your bedtime routine can be a really sweet moment of the day, even with the rituals and needs of our children. The key is realizing that even though you’re tired, mustering just a little more patience will help you keep bedtime peaceful and loving. And be sure to avoid these 3 Bedtime No No’s for Moms

1. Never discipline at bedtime.

Yes, you can correct and guide, but this is not the time to get into heavy discipline. Remember, your children are tired too and their behavior reserve is running low. Even if they’re fighting you at bedtime, don’t lose your temper. The goal is to send them off to sleep peacefully.

2. Never leave without showing love.

When you feel too tired to spend an extra 30 seconds hugging your child or tucking them in, you’re tired! But find a last bit of energy to spend the last moments with your child in loving routines.

3. Never let your grouchiness show. 

This can require a major dose of effort on your part. It can be very easy to let your annoyance show when your child asks for another glass of water or realizes that she forgot to brush her teeth. Just take a deep breath and remember that you’re trying to send your child off to dreamland in a calm, peaceful mood.

What is your favorite bedtime ritual?


  • SingleDadinVA

    I am a single Dad and have been for over 7 years. My oldest of 4 children is now 21 and in college, my youngest is 13 going into 8th grade. Although these simple 3 things seem so obvious; I regularly did the opposite of #1. My heart hurts and I will be apologizing to all 4 of my children when I get home this evening! So from now on, I will try to have at least one compliment for my children at bedtime in addition to the hugs and kisses and prayers. Thank you!

  • Help

    I’d like to know if there are any scientific studies that can be used as a basis for an argument not to discipline at bedtime. My brother-in-law whips his children with a belt if they make noise after he has left their room and shut off the light. No one (including his wife) agrees with this approach especially given that his children are 7 and 5 years old. However, without any hard data to support an argument he will be hard to convince to change. While we can argue as to if it is abuse or not the bottom line is that no one is going to turn this entire family upside down by contacting the authorities so I need data to support an argument. Please help.

    • nlc217

      That is HORRIBLE. The someone – YOU – should stop it. Authorities, whatever you need to do. A child has no voice – the adult is their advocate. So instead of backing down and being afraid, speak up for the babies that cannot.

      • Just A Thought

        Instead of ridiculing why don’t you direct this person to the data they have requested.

    • Social Worker

      Call it in our you might as well be the one holding the belt

    • grp

      Please, speak up for these kids. This man is awful. It’s flat out abuse. He has no right. What the hell is wrong with this guy that he has to treat his children this way? If he does this, I fear there is even more abuse going on in the house.

    • Guest

      My #1 thought is: how will they ever know if their children are sick (or even just frightened?) It’s the MOST selfish style of parenting, I believe. He would have a lot of guilt to deal with if one of those kids threw up on themselves and their bed – or worse, choked to death. And what about potty and accidents? He probably feels justified that he is giving them firm boundaries, but I don’t agree with that at all. In fact, my husband would probably have to whip me to get to the kids on that one. I wouldn’t tolerate that. 🙁 Not sure what you can do, though. It’s really her issue to deal with, unfortunately. Praying for their family.

    • MR

      First question to ask is if he was raised like that and how it worked for him.
      Second question is, would he himself would like to doze off to fear or being fearful at his bedtime.
      It’s great to set boundaries but healthy ones!

    • Trikky33

      I’m sorry to say but I’m sure there must be a lot more ‘ugly’ parenting going on in that house:( Somebody needs to do something to help those innocent children. It’s a safety issue to use fear at bedtime…that’s when most illnesses pose the highest threats (maybe do some research on that fact to show him). I really hope someone can get through to him. The mom really needs to stand up for her children & be their protector, get them out of that toxic environment, as I doubt the dad is going to change anytime soon, unfortunately. Sorry you are dealing with this situation, but please try & convince the wife at least to be the mother those children need.

    • I’m sorry, but I would NOT hesitate to call the authorities. This is abuse in NEARLY the worst way. Sexual abuse is the worst. You can call anonymously & please DON’T JUST DO NOTHING!!

  • Jenn

    I agree with all of them but the last one. I think we forget even those of us writing the articles that moms and dads are human and so sometimes are human emotions show. I do show that i am grouchy at times when I am. I explain to them why I may be grouchy then I apologize if need be and show them the love they deserve and I want to give, tell them goodnight, and head out.

    • Tina Gordley

      really? I agree with it. Just because we feel emotional doesn’t mean we can’t use self-control to keep at least most of those negative emotions from showing. Self-control works around people we want to impress, so why not our kids? I admit i can be a bear at bedtime, sheesh, brushing teeth drains the living daylights out of me. But this “no no” for moms really motivates me because I don’t want negativity to be the last thing my children experience before bed.

  • SanDiegoMomof4

    I’m so thankful for my husband. Just the other night our 10 year old son came to our room saying to come check on him in an hour. He does this often, so I was a little short and told him i was going to sleep. My husband noticed and talked with me about not leaving our kiddo like that. I instantly went in, apologized, stood there a few mins, and he was off to sleep. Great article to go along with my week. 🙂 still have 3 children at home DS 8, DS 10 & DD 15. They all need little TLC including my DD 26.

  • Nikki McMillan Morris

    My daughter has become so attached to sleeping with me after a summer filled with vacation & camping that she falls apart if I try & leave her room after our nighttime ritual. Any suggestions?