Even though they know that they are tired, some children do not want to miss out on any of the action or excitement. They want to spend as much time with mom and dad as possible. They can even see that they have to go to bed before their parents as unjust and even cruel. These types of children will want to disrupt and even avoid going to bed at all costs.
I have two young children and have been through this experience myself. My daughter especially needs her sleep and can be very moody in the mornings if she has not had enough sleep. As a parent, it can become very frustrating and upsetting when you see your child crying because they do not want to go to bed. Comments like, please, dad, just one more program or game were far too regular, and at times I felt like backing down.
I have learned from reading many books on parenting how to best deal with this situation. Each child now has a set time when they have to be in bed. This is a time that they have both agreed.
They get changed into their pajamas around half an hour before this time and can either spend that period playing with their toys or watching the television. If they want to play, we ensure that the games are relaxing ones and not too energetic.
If there is a program that is on later than their agreed bedtimes, I agree to record it for them; this way, they know that they are not missing out.
I have agreed that I will read them a story at bedtime. This is something they both love and helps them to wind down and relax. They are also given a drink of water before bed. Therefore there is no need for them to keep coming downstairs for a drink of water after bedtime.
I have explained to each child the importance of sleep and that it should be something to enjoy and not see as punishment. I have even gone as far as saying that I would love to go to bed when they do; unfortunately, I have things to prepare for the next day.
I have tried to make their bedrooms their special place. A place that they find fun, relaxing, and comfortable.
My son likes to hear music, so we play his favorite songs in his room. The volume is set quite low, and this certainly helps him to get to sleep quite quickly.
These tips have helped make our children’s bedtimes a pleasant experience, where it once was a struggle. The children themselves are now into a routine, a routine they are happy with. I hope this advice proves useful to you as well. Good luck.