Bedtime is a sweet time and can be the most precious moments of the day. But when children do not want to go to bed it becomes stressful. It is a sacrifice to remain on a tight schedule so our grandchildren can get to bed at the same time every night. An erratic bedtime does not allow a person’s body to become acclimated to a sleep schedule.
As the caregiver, we have to set a bedtime for the children and maintain that vigilantly. Sports and other activities are secondary to the welfare of a child. Without proper rest, she cannot function well at school. Children need 9-11 hours of sleep every night. How can we help with this?
A bedroom is no place for a television or a computer. Remove these distractions. The bedroom should be viewed as a place of sanctuary and rest. A music player set on a slow station or even playing soft lullabies is appropriate and conducive to sleep. All other entertainment devices should not be allowed.
Set a bedtime and keep to it. My grandson goes to bed at 8pm on school nights without fail. His body is now used to this time and he falls asleep almost immediately because of that. He drinks a small cup of warm milk and I read a short story, we say prayers and I leave the room.
He has a nightlight and is secure in knowing his room is a safe place to be. This is important and is one reason I never send him to his room for punishment and never discipline him in there. He does have a sleep toy that has been a friend since he was born and he cuddles with that.
The main thing is to select a bedtime and abide by it faithfully. If your child is not used to a set bedtime it may take several weeks for him to adapt but he will. You will then have free evening time for yourself, he will awake rested and ready to have a great day at school. Everyone benefits in this win-win situation.
Work out a time-inform children and the entire family of the new rules and get it started immediately. You are going to love this new routine.