Excuses, Excuses. What Keeps Your Kids From Getting to Bed on Time?

“I need water, just one more story, one more kiss, one more hug, where’s my lovey?” These are just some of excuses we have to go through each night as we work our way through our bedtime routine. Only to be followed by a round of needing to go potty right after we’ve said good night for the “last” time, seeming to start the hugging, kissing and 50 other excuses all over again.

I don’t know about you but by 8:00pm each night, I’m done. I’m completely worn out, ready to sit on the sofa with my Haggen Dazs, catch up on my book or DVR and just be. But the little monkeys continue to win at this game we call, Night Night.

I used to feel bad for locking them in their rooms at night. I was always telling myself it was for safety reasons (it really was,) but now I’m thinking we were on to something more than we realized. With that barrier, they would play for a while before going to sleep, but that play didn’t require our assistance. It also kept them in their room past 5:45am every morning which is now the time they get up because they are free to roam. Once that door closed each night, the excuses were locked in there too. Now they come downstairs a dozen times most nights to tell us things or ask for something.

Now that they are bigger and potty trained, the excuses are never-ending. Jennifer Waldburger, co-founder of Sleepy Planet, a Los Angeles-based child sleep consultation firm tells WebMD, many parents fall short because they don’t see the bigger picture. The key in establishing a child’s bedtime routine is to delineate between what your child needs and what she wants, she says. “What she needs is some time with you and good sleep. There’s a whole war between a parent’s head and heart that keeps them from doing [the right things].”

Consistency is a huge key in getting kids to bed on time, plus they like that routine. They love knowing that they can always count on a story and a song or two. A piece of advice that I believe in whole-heartedly is that sleep begets sleep. Once they get overtired things will only go down hill. Keep their bedtime as close to the same time each night as possible.

Sometimes they fight sleep because they are social butterflies and afraid they are going to miss something, sometimes because they have a need for control, but whatever the reason, bedtimes can most definitely become a power struggle.

How do you win the battle over bedtime in your house?

For 10 great tips on getting your kids to bed on time you can read the full WebMD article here.


One thought on “Excuses, Excuses. What Keeps Your Kids From Getting to Bed on Time?

  1. Consistency is definately the key. Bedtimes can be difficult and young children can certainly test your patience at times, especially with the transition from the crib to a toddler bed, but if you persist and resist the urge to give up they’ll get into a bedtime routine.

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