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Bedtime Basics: Getting Your Kids To Bed On Time

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

As a new parent one of (the many) challenges you are going to have to face is putting your kids to bed at night. This daily ritual is not only important as a means for you and your spouse to get much needed “down-time”, time together, personal time or extra rest…but as a means of establishing a healthy routine for your child.

According to experts, children often want to stay up past their bedtime to A) Test the waters and see what they can “get away with” (for this and other behaviors), and B) For extra time and attention from their parents (perhaps time they missed out on during the day). Hence they remind parents the essential importance of taking time for quality interaction with your child/children frequently. Still, they note, that once you’ve done YOUR part, establishing a workable routine is equally as important.

According to Jo Frost, “The Supernanny”, and author of Supernanny: How To Get The Best From Your Children keeping you child/children company (sitting up or “sleeping” with them) until they nod off is a definite DON’T.

Instead she recommends a variety of alternative tactics including the following:

· Set up an acceptable and age appropriate bed time and stick to it. Inform your child/children of this time and bring them to their rooms accordingly. Read them a bedtime story, offer lots of hugs and kisses, and then tuck them in.
· If you don’t want to leave the room, position yourself in a chair or on the floor next to the bed, but NOT facing your child. Bow your head and avoid eye contact and ALL attempts at conversation (unless the child is expressing thirst, a need for the washroom or an illness).
· If your child decides to get out of bed return them to bed immediately without making eye contact.
· Give your child space…a bit more each night. Do this by moving further and further away from your child’s bed or crib. This allows for increased sense of security in his/her own bed and room.

Long Island Family Life & Parenting Articles > Bedtime Basics: Getting Your Kids To Bed On Time

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