What is bedtime like in your house? Does your child go to bed calmly and agreeably? Or is every night a prolonged battle of the wills?
Kids come up with endlessly inventive reasons why they shouldn't go to bed. Some turn on the charm; others turn on the tears. Either way, how do you put an end to your little procrastinator's delaying tactics?
According to experts, the best way to break the cycle is to create a reassuring nightly routine. When it comes to getting kids to go to sleep willingly, nothing is more powerful than simple bedtime rituals.
Children love rituals and routines. They thrive on the consistency and security that comes from knowing what to expect. In addition, having family rituals gives kids a sense of identity and belonging.
Bedtime routines also serve a practical purpose: they calm busy little minds and bodies, so kids can let go of the day's events and gradually surrender to sleep.
Many children experience separation anxiety at night. Between school, work, and other activities, a child may not feel like she's getting enough of mom or dad's attention. When parents participate in their children's bedtime rituals, kids can look forward to some nightly one-on-one time.
Chances are, you probably already have some bedtime routines in place. That already gives you something to build on. Here's how:
Make your child's bedtime ritual relaxing and enjoyable, and you can kiss bedtime battles goodbye. There's another bonus, too: according to experts; going to bed at the same time every night trains the body to get tired at that time. So the more you practice your child's bedtime ritual, the easier it will become!
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