It's bedtime, and that means plenty of kicking, screaming and the serious potential for plenty of sleepless nights.
And that's just the perspective of mom and dad.
Parents often struggle mightily when it comes to finding ways to coerce kids into sleeping. This endeavor is easier said than done, especially if the kids aren't exactly thrilled with the idea that they have to stop doing something they enjoy, such as watching television, playing video games or outdoor activities.
One of the bigger missteps from mom and dad is the amount of activity they're allowing kids to have before bedtime. Kids typically are always busy with some sort of after school activity, sport or practice that they have to get to at some point.
But nothing makes for a raucous and difficult bedtime then a child who just finished softball practice at 8 p.m., with the hopes that they'll be prepared to go to sleep in about an hour or so. The goal for parents should be to set a cut off time when it comes to kids getting overly excited or ramped up before they hit the sack. The argument to that suggestion would be that parents have to adhere to specific times for karate lessons or baseball games, thus making their cut off time a moot point.
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If your getting your kids to sleep is a struggle, you may need to take a second look and rethink the even to activity that ends that late at night.
And as long as you're crossing off bad, late night habits, why not include eating on that list? That's a sure fire way to have a child that doesn't want to go to bed. And don't even think about any caffeine intake after dinner.
Another favorite of parents is to read to their children before bed, thus allowing them to drift into a slumberous and restful sleep thanks to the safe and relaxing sound of the voice of mom or dad. The right book always makes this route much easier, and parents would be wise to put down the "People Magazine" and pick up a kid friendly book to assist them in this regard.
The book, "Timothy Tottle's Terrific Dream," would be one of the more renowned and ideal choices, given everything from its subject matter, which creatively suggests to kids that sleep is a good thing. Reading "Timothy Tottle's Terrific Dream" is an example of how parents can set the right tone and implement a positive routine when it comes to bedtime.
What moms and dads don't want is to start habits that become equal parts bothersome and counterproductive, like letting your child sleep in your bed night after night until finally they want nothing to do with their own room.
No parent wants a crying, fussy or screaming child who just refuses to go to bed. But using a quick fix or adopting judgment that is short sighted before bedtime only will prolong the problem, and lead to even more sleepless nights for everyone involved.
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