Effective Strategies Dealing with Kids who Resist Bedtime

As parents of three kids, one of our biggest challenges can be getting young kids to settle down for sleep each night. However, with the right approach, even the most reluctant sleepers can learn to cooperate.

Three Children Sleeping Happily
Three Children Sleeping Happily

Here are 10 tactics parenting experts recommend for overcoming bedtime resistance.

Establish a Calming Routine

Implementing a predictable pre-bed winding down routine like bath, book and cuddles tells little minds it’s time to rest. Consistency is key.

Use Visual Schedules

Visual schedules lay out the routine in pictorial steps so children understand expectations. Removing elements as tasks are completed empowers them.

Offer Comfort Items
Loving blankets or stuffed animals decrease anxiety around separation from parents at night. A soft cuddly stuffed toy can provide comforting physical and emotional support during separation from parents. Classics like teddy bears often work well.

Validate Feelings with Empathy
Acknowledging emotions like “I know you’re upset” before restating the rule reinforces you’re on their team.

Minimize Attention Seeking
Limit interaction beyond routine to curb attention-seeking behaviour prolonging bedtime.

Build Excitement with Choices
Letting kids select favorite pajamas or stories adds positive anticipation of bedtime routine.

happy family parents and children sleeping in white bed at home
healthy sleep. happy family parents and children sleeping in white bed at home

Set Clear Expectations
Reminding children when you’ll return or that morning activities start at a certain time reduces worry.

Avoid Withdrawing Affection
Discipline shouldn’t involve punishments that create further distress like losing cuddles before sleep.

Rule out Medical Issues
Consult your pediatrician to ensure no physical reasons like acid reflux are affecting sleep patterns.

Remain United and Consistent
Teamwork between parents and consistency in approach, even on weekends, are key to success in establishing healthy sleep habits.

How about you? Do you have some more suggestions want to share with me? Please do post a comment under the page.

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