Getting your child to sleep can be a source of frustration and anxiety for both parent and child. As parents we often look forward to bedtime as it means we finally get to ‘clock off’ and have a bit of ‘me time’ or time reconnect with your partner.
So as you begin your child’s bedtime routine your anticipation of clocking off builds and often your child’s resistance to going to bed increases. So begins the stalling, the 15 minutes to brush teeth, the sudden hunger, the realisation of homework not done, the arguing or being silly with siblings and sometimes just flat out refusal.
So once you get past all this and finally get your kids into bed, you kiss them goodnight and hope to at last get a bit of adult time…. but what then if your child won’t go to sleep?!
What do you do if your child keeps getting up, talking with siblings if they share a room, cries out for you or basically just won’t go to sleep???
Well what I find that helps is I download a book on my phone (or tablet if you have one) and I sit in their bedroom in the dark and read.
If they act up, I say I will leave but I will stay if they are quiet and try and go to sleep. If they talk to me I shush them immediately, I channel a no-nonsense strict librarian!!! When my partner is not home to help out then I just move from room to room, I usually start with my youngest as she is the hardest to settle.
Often kids won’t settle because they don’t know how, they are lonely or anxious or feel like they are missing out. So by having you there is often enough to help them relax and then in turn sleep.
The added bonus is rather than sitting there feeling resentful that bedtime is taking so long, you can have your ‘me time’. Actually get bit of quite time to yourself, which if you are anything like me doesn’t seem to happen very often.
If you are not a reader then maybe just spend sometime online, catch up with Facebook/Instagram or do some online shopping. You could also get a pair of headphones and watch YouTube or catch up TV. Or message a friend/family member you haven’t spoke to in awhile.
The point is grab some time for you, use this time to recharge. I know when I have a good book I can’t wait for bedtime so I can do some reading.
I’d love to hear your bedtime tips and tricks