Making Bedtime Calm

From dinnertime on, the whole atmosphere should  point in one direction  – bed.  Dinnertime should be as relaxed as possible  – no TV or  videos. Let voicemail answer the phone.  After dinner, develop and  stick to a regular routine: for  example, a low - key game such  as a puzzle  – no running  around, no video games, no  TV. Lights dimmed. Music off or soft. Then bath time, pajamas and tooth brushing.

Promise three short stories  – if your little one is in bed on  time. The longer they dawdle, the less time for books. Warn them once, and then cut it to two stories at the first sign they haven’t heeded the warning. Then carry them gently to bed, you don’t want to get to zero books, this is  their special time with you  after all. Get them into bed, lights dimmed, cuddle them and read softly, monotonously.

This is your special time together  – the main thing most  children are looking for when  they delay bedtime is more  time with you. If they know  they can count on that time  when they follow simple routines, they’re likelier to stick  with them.  And remember it may not work at first, just keep the  routine going until it does.

Read more in this months newsletter:

The Buzz, January 2015