How to get your Kids to Bed

Bedtime is often the most stressful time of the day for parents.  Getting kids to go to bed often seems like an insurmountable challenge, with any pleads seeming to fall on deaf ears. 

Getting a good night’s rest is essential for kids.  Children need sleep in order to be able to focus and learn at school.  Children also need sleep in order to grow, and a child who has not had a good night’s rest will only be irritable, which is a parent’s nightmare. 

Children need plenty of sleep, and they can almost never get too much sleep.  Children from 3 to 12 years of age should be getting from 10-12 hours, many of which don’t get nearly enough. 

It is important, therefore, to think of what time your child needs to up, and then figure out what time they need to get to bed, in order to get the much needed 10-12 hours of sleep.  It is also advisable to try to get kids to bed 30 minutes before you want them to go to sleep, because they may not fall asleep right away, and even on the best of days, you need to leave some time for a potential struggle.

It is essential when you set a bedtime that you stick to it, and that you are consistent with it.  If a child’s bedtime is 8 o’clock one week and then 10 o’clock the next week, they will not learn to follow a schedule.  As well, the younger the child is when you set a regular bedtime the easier it will be for them to follow it.  If a child is 8 years old and has spent their whole life going to bed whenever they feel like it, they will be more likely to resist a strict bedtime, which will make it more of a challenge for you to enforce one. 

Furthermore, the more structured a kid’s life is the easier it will be for them to follow a bedtime.  If they have no structure throughout their day, and they eat, play and do their homework whenever they please, then having a strict bedtime will be harder for them to comprehend.  By having your kids eat their meals around the same time, and having them do their homework at a particular time of day will enable then to become accustomed to having a schedule. It will become routine for them. 

Moreover, it is important that you communicate with a child.  Children do not like to be talked down to and it is therefore important to ensure that, when you are talking to them, you are communicating on their level and not giving orders.  Telling them that they are going to bed at a particular time because you said so will not help convince them that they should go to bed at that time.  By getting to their level and speaking to them in order to explain what time their bedtime is and why it is so, for example, because they need to wake up early for school or practice, will make it easier for them to understand.  After setting a bedtime, it is vital to give them a heads up, and not simply say okay it is bedtime now.  Give them a warning so that they have time to prepare.

It is imperative that no matter how hard it may be for your child to adjust to going to bed at a particular time, that you do not give in and let them go to sleep whenever they please.  If they object long enough and see that you will not give in, then they will eventually get tired of objecting since they will have realized that you are not going to give in to them, and that it is pointless on their part.

Keep your sanity and set your kids a proper bedtime.  It will also allow you the much needed alone time at the end of the day, in order for you to unwind and de-stress.