what to do when your kids don't want to go to bed by 8:00pm?

Paula - posted on 02/22/2010 ( 6 moms have responded )

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I used to have the kids in bed by 7:30/8:00pm. They are 5 and 7 yrs of age. Now my daughter 5 will get up and play with dolls and my son comes downstairs every 5-10min to say he can't sleep. By 10pm they're sound asleep. How can I get them back on schedule?

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Lisa - posted on 02/22/2010

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I had trouble with my oldest son going to bed on time when he was 4. I would tuck him in at night, hugs kisses, all that good stuff, and say good night. 5 minutes later, he was out of bed. So round 2. I would pick him up, take him back to bed and tell him, "I said it's bed time. Good night, I love you and I will see you in the morning. Do not get out of bed again". Round 3, he gets out of bed again. I say absolutely nothing, pick him up, put him back in bed and leave the room. For two night straight, this went on and on for a few hours, since it made him mad that I wasn't even conversating with him. The third night, he went to bed, never got up and was asleep within 15 minutes. It's worked ever since. However, I do give "Supernanny" full credit, because I saw this on one of her episodes, and by personal experience, it works like a charm. He cried and threw a couple of fits even, but by night number three, I was in heaven!

Paula - posted on 02/22/2010

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Thanks! My daughter naps sometimes. She is in pre-school and they nap betwen 1-3. But it's rare for her to nap. She lays there quiet most of the time. My son doesn't nap. They are both busy all day in school. So I'd think he would be very tired. Maybe it's a phase. Thanks for all your advise though. :-)

Lauren - posted on 02/22/2010

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Make sure before bed, they are getting plenty of time to wind down.
Does your daughter turn the light on when she gets up? If possible, make it to where she can't do so. She'll be less likely to get up and play if she can't really see. Also, if there are only certain toys, remove those from her room. Anytime she gets up from bed, guide her back without conversation. The biggest thing is consistency. You are going to have to take your son back to his room every time he comes out. Instead of allowing him to come all the way downstairs, sit outside his room and wait for him to come out. The first time, say something simple like "back to bed." The second time and on, just take his hand and lead him back to bed, tucking him in, but no conversation. (All tips I've learned from watching Super Nanny :-))

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I have a 7 and 2 year old little girls and they both go to bed at 8pm. I have told them this is not negotiable and that it is going to stay that way. I just set down the law and if they start getting out of their room I put a baby gate in front of their door until I go to bed and the only way they are allowed out is if they are going to the restroom.

Kayla - posted on 02/22/2010

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Are the kids napping at all during the day, cause if they are that could play into why they do not want to got to bed that early. Maybe try getting them to settle down at 7:30pm and maybe a bath before bed might calm them down then putting them into bed at 8:30pm, maybe moving their bed time up by 1/2 hr. Be very stern that it is bed time and they must go to sleep NO getting up and NO playing, try that continuous for a good 2wks. Also on weekends making sure they stay in that schedule as well will help cause then there body is not out of sch. Kids are super smart and they love to test parents being strict about what you want , make sure they know you are boss.

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Do they still take naps? Maybe shorten nap time if they do. Other than that make sure they have lots to do during the day, can they go outside and play for a while after dinner? The rule we have for our son (18 months) and our nieces when they come over (4 and 6 years) is that as long as they stay in bed and are quite they can play until they are tired. They get one quite toy to take to bed and some stuffed animals. Don't know if that would work for you guys, but may be worth a try. Good luck!

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