“Getting out of Bed at Night”
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Children of all ages avoid going to bed, the best for this would have to be children six and under.
I don’t know how many times I’ve had that last minute request for another hug or just one more kiss goodnight and sometimes just to ask what I’m doing.
Sleep for a child is very important, not if you ask them though.
The main reason for these last minute requests is not actually so they don’t have to go to sleep so much as it is so they can keep you at their side a little longer.
Teach your child that going to sleep will bring you closer sooner.
Sometimes parents are unsure if their children really actually need something or if it is just some more attention. Sure, if your child calls out in the night, go and see them.
If once you get in there, you find that all is ok on the medical front and its just attention. Give them another hug and kiss goodnight and make your departure but not before a firm reminder them that this is sleep time not waking time.
Preventing Those Requests…
At Lunchtime Talk About Bedtime Rules:
There should be a set routine for bedtime in every house. I know the one I have works very well and usually without question, providing the routine is not thrown out by a surprise visitor or an unexpected situation.
Set the rules at a time apart from bedtime, to give your children time to adjust and ask questions as well as getting to know what you expect at bedtime. Set the rules to your own standards, but be fair.
In my home the children get their pajamas on by 7.30 pm do their teeth and off to bed at 8.00 pm sharp. This routine may suit you but the ages of your children do have to be considered allowing for age difference. As well as your lifestyle and what the next day brings.
Your child may like to get into your bed through the night, and that’s fine providing its ok with both parents. You need to make the rules and if this is allowed or not well before you get a midnight visitor. It is better for children to sleep in their own beds sooner than later.
Reward Correct Bedtime Behavior…
When the rules have been made, and your child understands them, tell your child “Once you can stay in your own bed all night, you will get your reward.” The reward might include getting an extra story the next night, a special breakfast or something else you child will like.
Solutions To Sleeping…
Consequences For Rule Breakers…
Making the rules is the easy part, enforcing them is not too bad either, but when it comes to punishment for getting out of bed for that extra drink or another hug its hard to fit a punishment. Don’t make them too harsh but enough to let your child know they have broken the rules. Maybe no stories for two nights or early to bed the following night.
To ensure your child knows that you mean business with your rules, you must enforce them. Each time your child breaks the rules you must let them know. For example, your child climbs into your bed through the night. The only thing you can do is take them back to their bed and remind them of the rule about sleeping in our own beds, say goodnight and leave.
Reinforcing Your Rules…
Don’t forget to remind your child of the rules and what you expect from them as you are putting them to bed each night. Ask your child if he remembers the bed time rules. Don’t be forgetful with the rewards, better still, have them before your child does the right thing and be sure to give them. Rewards are an important bonus to your child, don’t offer rewards if you don’t intend on giving it.
Screaming Anti Sleepers…
Some children will go off like a ten gun salute after you enforce the rules but, you must ignore the screaming and remind yourself that you are teaching your child a valuable lesson, Nighttime is for Sleeping not Screaming. Not only for your own sanity but also for the health of your child.
Fear, Or Fear Not…
The last thing you want is your child too scared to go to sleep while you are trying to get them to sleep. Saying things like “ If you get out of bed, the hands under the bed will get you” is only another form of a threat. Children don’t need to be frightened, they need to be understood, in order to get the most from them.
Article contributed by Theresea Hughes, creator of
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