Putting children to bed can be a dreaded task. It can easily take several hours before your children are content and asleep. They may constantly hop out of bed, blurting out excuse after excuse to prevent them from sleep.
However, one set of parents lucked out with their 18-month-old twins. When the mom told her children it was time for bed, the twins did something many parents only dream about. Unfortunately, many parents are not that lucky. Here are three suggestions for putting your child to bed and keeping him there.
1. Maintain a bedtime routine
A bedtime routine is crucial if you want your child to go to bed and stay there without putting up a fight. Around the same time each evening, begin getting your child ready for bed. Put on his pajamas, brush his teeth, read stories and say prayers. Do all of your bedtime tasks in the same order. By doing this, your child will learn that it is now time for bed.
2. Avoid certain activities
Be cautious of the type of activities your child is participating in before bedtime. Avoid television and computer screens an hour before bed. Additionally, don’t let your child run around and participate in rigorous activities. Instead, take the time to read stories, color pictures or put together puzzles. The calm activities will help your child feel more relaxed and content when it is time to go to sleep.
3. Do not reward poor behavior
Children are smart. They quickly figure out how to manipulate you and stay up late. If you constantly give in to your child’s requests for water, snacks or bathroom breaks, he will only continue to use them. If your child just recently went to the bathroom, send him back to bed. Don’t give him glass after glass of water when he requests it. The first few nights may be rough, but after your child realizes you won’t give in to his every whim, bedtime will go much smoother.
Courtnie Erickson is a Utah State University graduate and a technology guru.