Are there ANY parents out there who haven't struggled with the bedtime routine - at least from time to time? (If so, do NOT raise your hands ;-) Once again, I read an article in the April 2012 Parents magazine and wanted to summarize a few tips. Here's to a peaceful bedtime routine! ~Tiffany
Kids need to start unwinding before it's time to crawl into bed. Create a routine that includes turning off the computer, gaming systems and television 30 minutes to an hour before bedtime. Let these last minutes include storytime, getting ready for bed, maybe listening to music, devotions or any other relaxing "down-time" activity.
Ever notice how a few late nights for you can throw you off your routine? Same is true for our kids. We've all experienced the toxic combination of an overly tired child AND an impatient momma. Not a good mix, is it! The article suggests that kids can read us well and actually push back on our rushing them by slowing down. Seems true to me! They suggest, if you are running behind the clock, consider skipping the bath or read a shorter story, spend a few minutes "hanging out" before jumping into the bedtime routine.
No More Excuses
"Just one more story!"
"I need to go potty."
"My tummy hurts."
The list is endless, really! Counter this with a bedtime chart of pictures or words that list all the things they need to do before bed like get a drink, brush their teeth, go potty, etc. The article says they will be less likely to disrupt the routine once it's in print. And if there's still the endless list of requests, make a "Bedtime Pass" that they are allowed to use once each night. Make it official-looking and leave it on their bedside table. Then don't honor any requests after that!