Kids Bed Time Chaos
How to Correct It By
Children can be very difficult to
control when they have not had sufficient sleep. Many
parents do not believe in enforcing a proper bed time and
then wonder why their children and tired and fractious
throughout the day. Some children cope so badly with lack of
sleep, they develop poor behavioural patterns, poor immunity
to illness, an inability to concentrate on school work and
generally slip into a condition of ill health, all because
Mum and Dad cannot bring themselves to insist on a proper
bed time routine.
Sleep provides a wonderfully beneficial environment for
growth and rest. Children are incredibly robust and healthy
on a regime in which a strict bed time is observed, yet so
few parents believe it can help their children develop
significantly better than a flexible sleeping plan.
My pet theory on those who elect to allow their children to
go to bed at the hour of their own choice is that they are
checking out of the responsibility to discipline their kids
at an hour when they themselves prefer to wind down after a
long day. Isnīt is so much easier to sit on the sofa
watching the television while the kids amuse themselves
somewhere, beyond nine, ten, eleven oīclock at night? And so
much easier to put down your own inadequate parenting to
some fluffy idea about freedom of expression and liberal
choice. It is all rubbish, of course. Kids need more sleep
than adults and that is the end of the matter. So wake up if
you are one of the idiots I have just described, and start
structuring a proper bed time routine before your childīs
health really begins to suffer.
Right, enough of that. If your child will not go to bed,
there are things you can do to correct the situation,
depending on the age of the child of course. The younger the
child, the easier it is to structure a routine for sleeping.
A child who has been used to staying up will object most
strenuously to being told to go to bed. Once in bed, they
will get up and insist on staying up, then throw tantrums
when you try to put them back in bed. The first time they
get up, put them back and tell them they must stay there.
The second time, just put them back to bed and do not speak
to them, do not be drawn into any conversation whatever on
any subject. Do this thirty times if you have to. The next
night you will find the child behaves much better and from
that time on you should not have any more difficulty.
Give your child a light lunch and then a heavier supper. Do
not bathe your child before supper, but half an hour after.
Allow your child to play in the bath, spend plenty of time
talking and playing with your child but no boistrous,
splashing games please. Always read a story to your child in
the bedroom, never downstairs in the sitting room and never
where a television is on. You may be very tired at this
point, especially if you are a working parent. Tough. You
will get your 'me-time' later - this is your childīs time
and you must live with it. Try to enjoy it. This should be a
quiet time for your child. With a full tummy and clean and
warm from a relaxing bath, your child should sleep like the
Should your child decide none of this is going to work and
start misbehaving, try not to shout. As soon as you shout,
you are giving permission to the child to do the same and
the next thing that happens is pandemonium while you try to
control a massive family row.
Take things one step at a time and remain resolved you are
going to observe a proper bedtime. Within a few days, your
child will begin to show you the benefits of the new routine
by eating better, sleeping soundly and behaving better in
Having established a bed time routine, do try not to disrupt
it until it has had time to form a habit in your childīs
life. If you must haul the kids out for a bonfire
celebration or a family barbecue which continues late into
the evening, then go straight back to routine the next day
without fail and keep at it until you have reestablished bed
Do not allow toddlers to sleep in the afternoons when you
are trying to instil a bed time. Once a child reaches two or
three, they no longer need this afternoon siesta and it can
seriously undermine your efforts to get your child to sleep
Good night and good luck.
Jan Gamm writes reflections on life with an
emphasis on world travel. She has lived in many countries
and traveled extensively in the Far East, the Middle East,
America, South America and throughout the South Pacific. She
writes for fun and for money whenever she can manage it.
A Healthy Breakfast
For Your Child
Breakfast is usually the time
when you're busiest - what with packing your kids off to
school, looking after the house and rushing to work too.
Often moms give a ready-to-serve breakfast with sweet
cereals and cereal bars which do not have much of a
nutrition profile to boast of.
Mom needs to know...