Routines and Rituals

The Bedtime Battle Comes To An End… Hopefully!

Sunday, 3rd July 2011

The Bedtime Battle Comes To An End… Hopefully!

An owl flying infront of the moon

For those of you that follow my Facebook Common Chaos Chronicle page, you will probably have read my recent status update asking for suggestions and ideas on bedtime routines for children.

Now dont get me wrong, I havent just been sitting around hoping these monsters of mine will eventually get the gist of whats expected at bedtime, it’s been a battle for a while now, gradually getting worse since my hubby started footy training 2 nights a week.

I tend to excuse Levi’s nonsense as I have had to sit with all of the kids at 2 years of age to get them to stay in their beds, but I fear this is where we went wrong in the beginning.

The girls room (Zafirah & Veruca) is my biggest battle. During the holidays Mackenzi shares this room aswell and the dynamics of the bedtime battle changes again.

Aria has her own room. A room she so desperately begged and begged and begged for, yet every night we have the same “I cant sleep” scenario.

Jai is generally pretty good ifΒ  I am sitting in there with Levi, but take Levi out of the equation and he is up and out of bed time and time again. This is going to be a difficult situation when Levi moves into his own room later in the week…..

Levi sleeping with his Melbourne Demons football

So what do we do???

Here’s my plan, based on a few suggestions from my Facebook friends and things we have tried with minimal success in the past,

* I am going to sit down with the kids over breakfast in the morning and have a discussion about what I expect from them at bedtime and go through a new bedtime routine.

* I am going to try the book before lights out method.

* Instead of ‘taking something’ or ‘losing a privelige’, I am going to offer a reward. Not just for one of them but to each of them if they’re in bed, and asleep by a certain time.

* Each day I will offer a small reward, then at the end of the week offer something bigger to praise and encourage the correct behaviour.

* After 21 days, I will gradually fade out the rewards and hope the bedtime habit has been formed.

Care bear bed time bear asleep on a cloud

* As an added bonus, I will purchase a very special ‘bedtime bear’ that the children can win a turn of the following night, by being the first asleep.

Our New Routine:

5.30pm – Dinner

6.00pm – Baths (Readers etc)

6.45pm – Take a book to bed – Quiet Reading time

7.00pm – Lights out!

To receive the reward they must read quietly, lay down and go to sleep at lights out. No talking, No getting out of bed.

Somehow I am feeling like the next 21 or so days of my life are going to be hell but I’m all for achieving the greater good.

Fingers crossed it works or there may be many many more days of impulse online shopping to alleviate my insanity πŸ™‚

My name Jac with an owl picture


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    1. If it helps we too do the bedtime story thing, each of mine gets a good 15 minutes of reading on their own in their beds before lights off and a quick cuddle up together where we talk about what we have done today before I say nighty night and leave them to it. It's our favourite time of the day as it's special one on one time that you don't get the chance to have very often when you have more than one child. I look forward to it every day and so do they ! A nice reward is to plan a trip to the library once a week and let them choose their bedtime books themselves :) Good luck ! Bedtime is always a tricky beast to tame - I look forward to popping back to see how you get on :) x

    2. I know the bedtime battles well. I don't want to discourage but I've tried all of those things a dozen times over. I now just accept what is. I give the kids a couple of attempts at sleeping by themselves. If they're taking too long I get the laptop and sit in their room writing/tweeting etc until they nod off. It's not so bad. I get some work done that way and reduce the stress a little. Good luck!

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