Bedtime, for you, has always been a time of calm and tranquil wind down. But now it has become the time of day that you dread the most. After a long day of hands on parenting, most of us look forward to seeing the sleeping faces of our children so that we can take this time to unwind and refuel to start afresh the next day.
But bedtime can be a difficult time indeed. Patience is at a low, frustrations and tempers flying high and everyone tired. It doesn’t have to be like this. Bedtime can be made exciting for your kid. In fact, it can be made fun for the whole family. The key is to create a simple and gentle routine that allows everyone to thrive.
5 Tips to Get your Childrens Excited about Bedtime
Do the Hard Things First: Once your little one has completed his or her dinner, get them washed up and into their night clothes, teeth flossed and brushed. If possible all of these activities can be done away from the bedroom so it is clear to your child that bedtime is still away. The idea is to start bedtime early so there’s plenty of time of time to get everything done without the feeling of being rushed or having a bedtime battle every night. Make sure that your child understands that in case they are unwilling to clean up before bedtime they will not be able to do the other fun activities. Give them the choice and the consequences.
Offer Choice of Activities: Offer your child choices of activities for a smooth bedtime so that they feel like they too have a role. Ask your kids what they want to do that night and give them options to choose from. Let them select things that sound the best to them. You will see that the choices they make will vary depending on their mood, energy levels, and emotional needs. Kids are little adults like you and I and by offering them the choices you are showing them that their developmental needs are being honoured by you. However, keep the choices relatively contained so as not to overwhelm them.
Explore New Stories Together: Make the effort to get new books from the store or even from the library for your kid’s bedtime reading. Let your child pick the books and you’ll find that he or she is more excited to read the stories that they have selected. Let them pick a new story every night before bed and cuddle together and read it. It is possible that your toddler migh become fixated on certain stories or books and while it is a good idea to read it for quick effect it is better to explore new stories together everynight to increase your child’s creativity and imagination.
Count the Stars: On particularly difficult nights in summer take your child outside and together look at the night sky. If the temperature is a little cool take blankets and snuggle together under it. Point out cconstellations, planets, or simply talk softly about each others’ day. Make a game out of guessing what insects or night birds make what sounds. Use the time under the open sky as a way to get away from the hustle bustle inside the house. If your child falls asleep during this time simply pick them up and carry them to bed (provided they are small enough to be carried). Older children are also likely to enjoy this activity.
Bedtime Snacks: Kids love snacks. Especially snacks before bedtime. This helps them to stay full till morning and not wake up during the night or feel irritable due to hunger during bedtime. Prepare a special and healthy snack together as an incentive for your child to get excited and ready. It should be something healthy but also tasty like strawberries or apple slices. On some occasions indulge their sweet craving with a small bowl of ice cream eaten together as a family. Don’t let them have too much because you don’t want your toddler to go an sugar rush just before bedtime. Make sure he or she brushes their teeth properly after having the sugary treat.
Bedtime for your child signifies the end of a fun-filled day and he or she becomes anxious when the day draws to a close. Let your toddler know that when he wakes up a whole new day with newer adventures will be waiting for him or her. Reassure your baby going to sleep tonight will only mean being that much closer to another fun-packed day tomorrow.