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.
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