Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Parent to Parent: Bedtime Battle
Losing sleep trying to get your kids to go to sleep at night? There are ways to solve those Bedtime Battles so everyone can rest easy. Tips in today's Parent to Parent.
WSVN -- If your child puts up a fight when it's time to turn out the lights, don't worry, you're not alone.
Maureen O'Brien: "When you talk to parents of almost any child, sleeping is usually one of the top three things that they are worried about or concerned about."
Six-year-old Jordan will try just about anything to stay up later.
Judy Lawrence: "'My stuffed animal fell, my cut hurts, the blanket fell off, I have to go to the bathroom,' which all of those things she can handle on her own."
But experts say don't let little ones take control of the bedtime routine.
Maureen O'Brien: "Stay really firm and give them what I call the illusion of control, so you give them three books and say, 'Which two would you like to read tonight?' instead of, 'What do you want to do tonight?'"
And once teeth are brushed, stories are read and you've left the room, try not to let your kid's cries lure you back in.
Maureen O'Brien: "Say, 'I hear you, sweet dreams' from the other room, so the child knows that you're still there, but don't come in because, the minute you come in, you've established the routine of starting all over again."
Experts also say that while climbing into bed with your child may help them fall asleep, that's usually not the best solution.
Maureen O'Brien: "I think it tends to be a habit parents regret doing, mostly because our ultimate goal is for our child to be able to sleep on their own."
With lots of love and the right amount of discipline, the bedtime battle should get easier.
Judy Lawrence: "I think you always have to look at the long-term effect and start off just really being consistent."
Maureen O'Brien: "The more you can assure your child from a distance, give them something to hug at bedtime and have a routine, the smoother sleep time will go."