It seems I am not the only procrastinator here. Kids are brilliant procrastinators at bedtime. When we adults constantly crave for sleep, our children just want to play and think of brilliant excuses to stall sleep. I can't say I am a veteran in getting kids to bed and letting them stay there, but here are some tricks I tried that worked (fortunately):Help kids unwind before bedtime
Don't ever attempt to let your child do anything that's too stimulating, like watching wrestling and funny cartoon shows. Set a soothing bedtime routine that will cue your child's brain that it is time to sleep, like a bedtime story and a warm cup of milk.
Homeworks, ironically, make practically every child sleepy.
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Make sure that kids get their required number of hours of sleep a night.
Do the math, so your child will have his needed number of hours' sleep. Practically every 6 or 7-year old, for example, needs around 10 to 11 hours of sleep a night. If he has to get up for school at 6 AM, make sure he is in bed and sleeping by 7 or 8 PM.
Avoid interaction with your child when it's time to sleep.
As a working mom, this is so hard! I love to play and tickle my child when we are in bed, and I love asking him how his day was. Usually, though, he gets over-excited with our horseplay that he has a hard time sleeping and would continually bug me about completing his Bat Cave Lego and how he will beat the villains in his Wii game. Once the lights are out, seriously avoid discussing stuff with your child, especially if the topic interests him so much. When it's time to sleep, absolutely no talking!
|freedigitalphotos by Tina Phillips|
Practice what you preach.
Set a good example and do not skimp on sleep, because your children will do the same! Get yourself to bed at a decent time, in a dark, cool, quiet room.
Rule out medical conditions.
If your child always seems sleepy, snores loudly or breathes through his mouth, or wake up tired no matter what time he goes to bed, talk to your pediatrician. It may not be as serious as Kleine-Levin Syndrome (a rare sleeping disorder that could cause one to sleep weeks at a time), but an underlying health issue may be the cause.