Bedtime can be a struggle for many parents. For children struggling with bedtime, this time of the day can be frustrating and frankly exhausting for parents. But knowing how to make bedtime easier can be a challenge.
However, it’s easy to look at the frustration of bedtime through the eyes of an adult. We need to shift our lens to see bedtime from our child’s point of view.
Bedtime need not be difficult, in fact, bedtime can be a special time of bonding. This post will share with you critical tips and information on how you can make bedtime easier and pleasant.
How To Make Bedtime Easier
Children rarely act out for no reason. Hence, on adopting an approach of positive parenting, if your child is struggling with bedtime, it may be time to consider trying to understand from your child’s perspective what the root cause is behind their behavior.
A common approach to parenting is the perception that a parent owns and controls their child.
However, though a child needs to be guided, they are an independent person. As such, they are entitled to respect. Children are in a critical growth phase where they are still establishing who they are as separate beings from their parents.
Hence, being told to go to bed when they are in the middle of something can stir up feelings of anger and violation as they feel they are not being heard and instead controlled.
In order to get on the same page, parents need to respect their child’s independence and their process of navigating individualism which involves testing boundaries and figuring out how to make their own choices.
Rather than dishing commands and setting instructions that cause friction between you and your child, try some of these effective techniques on how to make bedtime easier:
Allow Plenty Of Time
You’ve probably heard the words ‘I’m not tired…’ or ‘I’m not ready yet…’
Whilst commonly recognized as the go-to response to avoid bedtime. To set up the foundations for a successful bedtime, it’s essential to allow plenty of time for winding down before bed.
With many parents juggling busy lives, children can often feel as though the end of the day is a time when their parents want to get rid of them.
Hence, rather than simply stating, ‘it’s time for bed,’ be sure to gradually wind down to bedtime with a structured routine. A couple of things you can incorporate into your bedtime routine to make bedtime easier include:
- Turning off digital devices an hour before bedtime
- Having bathtime to promote relaxation
- Practice reading or listening to calming music
- Remove clocks from the bedroom to reduce creating anxiety around bedtime
Allowing plenty of time before bed to wind down not only promotes a state of relaxation for a more restful night of sleep but also creates an atmosphere to which your child will look forward to each evening rather than an atmosphere of rushing and anxiety.
Maintaining consistency around bedtime is essential for ensuring a successful bedtime routine to make bedtime easier.
Establish A Routine
Establishing a routine goes further than allowing an hour before bedtime. Creating a successful routine includes ensuring that all distractions are removed in advance to enable a smooth transition to bedtime. Removing things such as toys that could become distracting or devices are critical.
Establishing a routine also goes for the order of the bedtime routine. For example, having a bath and then a story and then a kiss before bed. Maintaining the same structure creates stability and security. This is a key factor in establishing how to make bedtime easier.
Before the bedtime routine begins, it’s important to offer choices to ensure that your child feels a part of the bedtime routine and is being given the respect they’re wanting as an individual.
Doing so can include simple steps such as giving them a heads up that bedtime starts in 15 minutes. This then gives them plenty of time to finish up any games they’re playing or put away any toys.
You can also offer choices within the bedtime routine such as letting them choose which pajamas they want to wear for the night or which book they would like to read.
Asking them what they would like to do offers choice and opens calm dialogue.
Create An Environment For Bonding
Bedtime need not be a military operation… Have fun with it! You have 30 minutes to an hour of uninterrupted time with your child. Why not use it as a chance to develop connections and build a closer bond.
Use bedtime as a time to catch up on how their day was and how they’re feeling. Getting one on one time with your child is a great way to create a stable and open relationship that encourages communication.
Set Boundaries For Yourself
It’s essential that once you’ve completed the bedtime routine that you leave your child’s bedroom. If your child struggles to stay in their bed.
Be sure to make it clear to them of the boundaries you have set by calmly explaining to them before you implement the new routine that if they come out of their room (other than an emergency) that you will guide them back to their room.
Be sure to only explain this once and reinforce it by lovingly guiding them back to their room with minimal conversation each time they leave their room.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Can I Set My Children Up For A Successful Bedtime Throughout The Day?
Allow plenty of time for both yourself and your child. Often parents are so busy throughout the day that when it comes to the end of the day, the last thing you want is a stressful bedtime. And frequently parents will try and get the kids to bed as quickly as possible.
However, rushing the process can have adverse effects by creating tension and disruption. Hence, to set yourself up for a successful bedtime, it’s critical that you leave plenty of time between your child’s bedtime and your bedtime.
30 minutes to an hour should be plenty of time for your child to wind down and get to sleep easily. Once you’ve left them soundly asleep, allow yourself some quiet time to also unwind from the day.
Takeaway On How To Make Bedtime Easier
Difficult bedtimes are a thing of the past. With these 5 tips, on how to make bedtime easier, you’ll be able to create a seamless and effective bedtime routine that suits both you and your child. Now you can look forward to bedtime as a time for relaxation and connection rather than a chore.