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Mom’s Guide to Getting Kids to Bed on Time
Being a single mom with two children involves a lot of creativity when it comes to solving many situations, getting the kids to sleep is one of those! When I first heard the saying “desperation is the mother of invention,” I smiled, but the truth is now I can’t think of more accurate words to describe my own experience.
When nothing else works, we try to come up with new ideas and sometimes they magically do the job! It would seem only fair to share them with other parents in need of inspiration. So if you’re having a hard time convincing the kids to go to bed on time, here’s what you can try:
Set a bedtime routine and stick to it
I know it seems impossible to impose a specific bedtime, but creating an elaborate slumber-time routine may help. Start it at least an hour before the time you would like the kids to go to sleep. It’s imperative to stick to this routine even during weekends, and one essential catch is to respect the program yourself! Kids are smart and observant: don’t try to trick them, they will know, and you’ll lose your credibility.
Blue lights out
One vital detail in setting the bedtime routine is turning off all blue light screens at least an hour before sack-time. Smart devices make our lives easier in many ways, but using them until late in the night will only disrupt sleep. So engage your kids in other fun or challenging activities, such as discussing the highlights of the day you all just had, playing an indoor game or going for a walk.
Bed is only for rest
Gently convince your children that their bed is only for sleep or sleep-related activities. Yes, it will take some time, so be patient. Don’t forget that they will always follow your example, so if they see you eating in bed or working on your laptop, they’ll tend to do the same. Explain to them the benefits of reserving that space only for rest time; talk to them about the effects their sleeping position has on their slumber and the way they’ll feel in the morning. One particularly helpful idea is to take them with you when shopping for bedding and let them try mattress after mattress until they feel comfortable with one.
No energizing drinks or heavy meals in the evening – that’s probably something any mom already knows, but I wanted to underline it. When you feel you can’t convince them to try a yogurt instead of a bubbly beverage, invent stories about healthy foods, especially when the children are still of young age. Better yet, come up with recipes based on fruits and yogurts and engage the kids in making them.
Invent a special activity
If bedtime stories don’t work, let your imagination go free and invent something to do with your kids before going to sleep. Let it be your private ritual, every evening and make them feel special because they are part of it. It can be anything, from sharing thoughts and feelings to creating original stories, from playing a game to solving funny riddles or quizzes.
*This is a guest blog post by Will@blogondirt.com*