BEST STARTS FOR KIDS
You may be able to find one on You Tube. If you copy and paste the following link into Youtube the first song Sweet Dreams is a nice one if you can't find one of your own.
The idea is to prompt your child to go to bed at a reasonable time.
Step One: After dinner take all plates to the sink.
Step Two: It's a great time to brush teeth shortly after meals. If parents model the behaviour they want in their children all the better.
The earlier you can initiate sleep routines in your child's life the better for all of you. Getting good sleep makes huge differences to family relationships because, as you'd already be aware, tired children and tired parents aren't necessarily going to be at their best.
I followed the same routine every night with my children once they were toddlers. And my children were in bed by 7:30 giving us adults some time together or to get a good nights sleep ourselves.
There used to be a small interlude on our local T.V. channel after the news/current affairs when "Big Dog" told all of the children it was time to go to bed.
Step Three: While a bath is running get your children to pick the book they want read in bed. That way as soon as they're out of the bath, dried and dressed in pyjamas they know they've got something to look forward to. I used to let them pick a second book each if they were cooperative.
Step Four: Just before getting into bed get your child to go to the toilet, wash their hands. And say 'It's story time.'
Step Five: Get comfortable, ideally with all the children together.
Read the first book.
Discuss the good things that happened to each of you that day. This helps to create a calm attitude before attempting sleep.
Step Six: Read the second book and maybe a third depending upon how much time you have.
Step Seven: Kiss your children, tell them you love them and tuck each of them in. Leave the door to the bedroom open so they feel safe. It may help some children to have soft music playing, or I had told stories they could listen to as they fell off to sleep.
Routines are about expectations. If you make the expectation that going to bed is a positive experience, you have more likelihood of establishing a good routine with your children.
And the more you do it the same every night, the more your children will learn the routine.
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