Help With Bedtime
Kids are pretty creative and it seems they come up with a ton of ways to delay bedtime. Every single night it’s a struggle to get them to bed.
The minute they hear you say “it’s time for bed”..the whining and the pouting begins.
This burst of energy comes out of nowhere! They start running around, jumping on the bed, screaming, and laughing hysterically.
All of a sudden, they are so very thirsty or hungry (apparently forgetting they ate dinner) and have to use the potty.
They demand more snuggles and another story, and then when you are just about out of the door, something in their room is scary.
It has been a long day, you are tired, annoyed, and lose your patience, so you end up yelling and now your kid falls asleep crying.
You probably already put a night light or even a couple of them in their room. But that hasn’t helped much.
The only thing that kind of works for them is you laying with them until they fall asleep but you are wanting to find another way.
There is another way….
First, let’s find out why they are delaying bedtime.
Well duh— they do not want to go to bed.
Let’s dig a little deeper…
Remember all that creativity and imagination they have? This can work against them especially in the dark. Shadows can look pretty creepy to them.
Sometimes kids have heard a scary story or seen something scary on TV that keeps them up at night.
But simply telling them that monsters are not real and not to be scared can be a bit dismissive.
Kids like everyone need to feel heard and understood. Communicating what they truly need doesn’t come easy.
Instead, try saying “let me lay here with you and see what might be scary to you in your room…”
You can also tell about a time you were scared as a kid. For a child knowing that you were once a kid shows that you can relate and understand.
Help them problem solve using some playfulness and their own imagination.
Should they wear an imaginary superhero cape to bed or make a protective fort?
Storytelling is also helpful. It is easier for a child to come up with ways for the little bunny in the forest to overcome his fear of the dark.
Lastly, bedtime for a child means separating from YOU. This can be hard for little ones and kids who are anxious.
Practice some mindfulness to help them soothe and calm them (while helping yourself as well).
Incorporate a back massage to the bedtime routine to help relax their body. Nurturing, caring touch strengthens the bond between parents and their child.
The more connected you are to your child, the more confident they feel.
Taking the time to truly listen and understand helps children feel more secure and safe.
When a child feels secure and safe it is easier for them to relax…and fall asleep.
Consider seeking professional help for your child if you have noticed a recent drastic change in your child’s sleep pattern or have concerns that the sleep difficulties are affecting other areas of their life.