Sleep: Bedtime Struggles?

Would you like bedtime to be a more peaceful time for you and your children?  Then try these ideas:

1. A peaceful bedtime begins with Mom. Try to get your chores and work done well before bedtime.  Have dinner ready on time so the rest of the bedtime schedule can go as planned. Once you do start getting the kids ready for bed, put everything else aside; if there are dirty dishes in the sink, leave them there until the kids are asleep. Don’t get distracted by checking your email, beginning any kind of other project or taking a phone call. Stay focused on getting your children in bed.

2. Routine involvement. When your children are small, you need to be very hands-on with their bedtime ritual – brushing their teeth, helping them bathe, dressing them for bed. But as your children get older, let them direct their bedtime activities. Have a check-off list on a sheet of paper or a dry erase board. If they can tell time, let them know when you expect each step to be completed.

3. Be kind… unwind. About an hour before bedtime, start winding down. Dim the lights. Stop active play (including dad getting the kids charged up by wrestling with them or tickling them). Turn off the TV, video games and computers. Put on some softer music as the kids bathe and brush their teeth. And, try not to yell or get agitated. Remain calm, so they will too.

4. Smooth landing. As you make the final approach to bedtime, end the day with a lot of sweetness and a lot of love. If your children are small, read with them and pray with them. If they’re older, go into their rooms, sit on their beds and give them a hug goodnight. Leave them with kind and encouraging words.

Compiled by iMOM staff.