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Bedtime can become a daily fight in many homes. Some children who run out of bed constantly, others throw tantrums and there are those who devise strategies to entertain their parents and avoid the bed.
When parents are already exhausted and need a break, children seem more active and awake than ever. What to do in these cases? How to instill in children good sleep routines?
Although it is desperate, exhausting and ends with our patience, it is important to put ourselves in the shoes of children and find the reason why they do not want to go to bed, which is usually:
- Afraid: to the dark, to be alone, to 'the monsters' ... From the age of two, children develop fears that make them need to be with their parents and not alone in their room.
- Lack of tiredness: Although it seems difficult to believe, children have inexhaustible energy and their desire to continue playing, experimenting or telling stories collides head-on with bedtime.
- Bad habits: If we put the children to bed late on weekends, it will be difficult for them to regain a weekday schedule. Or if we send them to bed for misbehaving, they will think this moment is punishment.
1. In the first place we will have to stop all those fears and bad routines that we have. We will talk to the child and help him overcome those fears. We can leave a little light on and remind him that we are in the next room and that nothing is going to happen to him.
2. Routines are a fundamental ally: you must always put them to bed at the same time and follow the same pattern. We can read a story, sing a lullaby or say some affectionate phrases, give him a kiss and say good night. We must create a ritual that the child looks forward to and likes.
3. Show firmness and not waver. If one night the child leaves the room and we let him watch television with us, the next day he will want to do the same.
4. Do not put the child to sleep in your arms or do not let him fall asleep in front of the television to avoid the dreaded moment of going to bed. You will get used to it and you will not want to go to sleep alone. You have to learn that it is one of your daily routines, like eating or showering.
5. If you get out of bed, we put him back to bed without screaming, as calmly as possible and left the room. If he does it again, we carry out the same process, as many times as necessary, always trying not to lose our cool. We will speak to you safely and with confidence. Consistency is essential. You will end up getting used to falling asleep alone.
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