How do you handle bedtime horsing around?
Sometimes, kids will do anything to delay bedtime, and usually that involves a lot of goofing off when they should be settling in. What are your best tips for getting kids to calm down at bedtime and head toward sleep?
We give the kids their dinner, followed straight away by a bath or shower and brushing their teeth. This gives them time to play, but without being overstimulated with tv. They then get out of the bath/shower and get dressed in the lounge room. My husband and I then give them kisses and cuddles before bed, and then one of us becomes the 'bedtime train'. We say "All aboard the bedtime train!" and the kids hold on to our waist. We make chugga chugga toot toot noises off down the hallway, get to the first bedroom and say "First stop, Dyllan's room" followed by "Second stop, Roxy's room". The key to bedtime in our house is routine, and the bedtime train makes going to bed fun. The kids very rarely come out of their room once they have been 'dropped off'.
Kids are much like Mogwais, you don't want them to turn into Gremlins, thus:
Make sure they eat a healthy meal no later than 6:30pm;
After that, have them take a warm bath or shower;
They should put on their own PJs after shower, and do the routine of teeth and hair brushing;;
Tuck them in bed;
Read a book with them or;
Tell them a story w/ the light off;
Talk to them w/ the light off- it is at this time that they tend to tell you things that they normally wouldn't tell you during the busy day-- when you talk to your kid, you gain their trust and this can really help maintain a good relationship between you and when they are teens;
Set a bed time-- I do 8pm every night;
The result is that they will wake up happy.
I only have 1 child so I admit, its easy for me maintain this routine w/ my kid w/o problems. I don't know what else it would take for more than 1 kid, but I think that this system would work. It's all about routine.
I let them watch a movie or play games on their iPods IN BED for 10 minutes before bedtime. That cuts WAY down on the fights to actually get them into bed and they settle down. I keep the lights dim to help get them sleepy. When their screen time is up, we read a book or sing a song. Then turn the lights out and say prayers together. The rule is "if you give your iPod to Mama when she asks for it, you get it back the next day. But if you don't give it to me when I ask for it, you lose it for a day."
These are all great ideas. I find that creating a consistent routine helps a lot!
I watch "one" more program with young son...we both wind down...then straight to bed.
I have starting giving my kids "reading time" which starts about 30 minutes before "lights out". It really helps them wind down and do anything that they "forgot" to do before bed. Since my kids vary in ages from 6 to 11, anything that has to do with a book counts as reading. My youngest likes to color since she can't quit read on her own. I know that I should read to her but my work schedule sometime keeps me from being able to. Sometimes her older will read to her. My two boys like to read catalogs or comic books. I think it's not really the actual reading that I like about this, it's the quiet time without TV or anything electronic being a stimulant.
I have an 11 yr old son and a 6 yr old daughter. they like to talk when its time for bed. i try to give an extra 10 or 15 min extra of bedtime to do this. i wish they would "talk" during the day but since they seem to always want to at bedtime i let them. my 6 yr old daughter does seem to talk during the day also and we read each nite too. she has to read everyday for school. but they do want to play when they r getting their clothes out for next day and making their bed. so if they go over time limit we dont get to "talk". that usually works.
Laura! We have the SAME problem with our 3 y/o daughter! Its crazy! And she won't stay in her room through the night. she will wait until we go to sleep and will bring in her blanket and pillow and will sleep on the floor next to the bed. The only thing that seems to put her and KEEP her in bed is if she doesn't get her afternoon nap (which is a killer on us!)
All 3 of my girls go to bed at 7pm. The eldest 2 can read or talk quietly for a little while. Occasionally I let them play on their DS but not every night - that's mainly saved for days where they've been particularly good. When it's time for lights out (latest 8pm on a school night) they put on relaxing music to help them sleep. It doesn't always work but most nights it does.
I'm very interested in your answers bc my kiddos are always playn instead of winding down and I've tried everything. It doesn't help they share a room but lights out doesn't mean sleep to them and it's exhausting.
Our family has some wonderful bedtime rituals that help to slow us all down and get us ready for bed. One of our favorite activities is reading before bed. We have a story we've been reading together chapter by chapter every night. In fact. we've almost hit 100 nights in a row! Everyone looks forward to this so much at the end of the day. It's a great reminder, if someone's forgetting to get ready or to settle down, "would you like to read together tonight?" or better yet, "what was (favorite character in the book) up to when we left off?" This usually gets everyone back on track in a timely fashion.