My Kids Won’t Go To Bed! (Episode 67)
"My kids won't go to bed" tends to be the complaint I hear repeatedly from parents, and it's not just the infant stage. Bedtime battles can be the bane of families throughout parenting, and it's so important for us to get a handle on it. Because let's face it - this is not going to go away. It's this crazy thing that happens every. single. night.
Bedtime battles aren't just with infants - tips for helping your kids to get to bed, no matter what their age.
Your sanity is a priority!
Before you even get to what bedtime will look like in your home, you have to go back to what you want for your family. Go back to your why.
For the sanctity of your marriage and the health of your family, you have to prioritize time for just the two of you. Last weeks' episode focused in on the importance of working on your marriage every single day. Now here is something else we tackle on a daily basis: bedtime!
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Identify your why
It may be because they need their sleep due to early mornings. It may be that you need to recharge and defrag from single parenting. And it may be connection with your partner. Identifying your why is critical to help you address bedtime and stay strong with following through.
Prepare your kids
Letting them know the expectation before bed can really empower your kids to feel like they are invested in the overall family vision as well.
Check out Season 2 of the podcast: Laughter, Humble Pie and Lots of Sex!
Set A Goal
In a perfect world, my kids will be in bed by 7 every night, or they will get ready in five minutes. Lay out your vision of what you want to see as parents first. Then bring in the kids - this isn’t just about the parents or just about the children, but about the entire family.
Bringing up your family vision on a consistent basis is so great to keep you all on the same page. Does this line up with our family vision? What is your goal? What do you really want out of this? The more we help them understand, the more they see how much they have an impact on the world.
Break it down to days - how many days have you gone to bed? How many more days? This is something that happens as a tried and true consistent thing for the rest. of. your. life.
Sleep is one of those things that will always be there, so you might as well figure out how to navigate it!
Do A Family "Re-Set"
It’s not one and done - it’s a choice you make to put an effort in every single day. It’s fine-tuning, learning, modifying, growing. Meet your children where they are, and look at your why to determine whether it’s worth the battle.
Tips for getting your kids to bed
Make a list - be proactive and cover all your bases so they know exactly what to do and how to do it. Walk them through it so they understand.
Set a timer - don’t loom over the kids micromanaging them; but lay out the list, set the expectation, and then move out of the way. Empower them, then to do it on their own.
If they can’t sleep?
- Read a book
- Find a guided meditation for sleep
- Pull out a fan for white noise
Go back to your gameplan - do your family meeting, lay out what you want as a family, and talk about filling a bucket. You only have so much juice to handle the day, and people can fill each other’s buckets when we help one another out, and empty each other’s buckets when they bicker and fight.
DeBrief and Learn
Check in with your family. Be clear on what you’re doing and WHY they need to sleep. Let them know what the schedule is and what they can expect.
Debrief - the next morning, go over how it went. What helped, what didn’t? It’s just as important to go over what worked afterward - not pointing out bad kids, but acknowledging how you felt, when you felt like they heard you, you worked together, or they worked together and helped out. Don’t simply gloss over when you are trying to implement change. Go back and assess and reassess so you are better prepared for the next time.
Don’t simply react.
So often we have high hopes but don’t go back and talk about it.
We react or move on without taking what we can learn from it.
Not in the heat of the moment, but later, when you can look at the situation more objectively and glean what you can from it.
Be Proactive - What Can You Add In?
“Talkie time” has been really helpful in our home. In the time it takes for a Toastmasters speech, you can fit a lot in. Sometimes setting a timer allows for conversation without one kid monopolizing the time, etc. Have focused one-on-one time with each child - this isn’t about a ton of time, it’s more about the exclusive focus. “Talkie time” equals pure, focused attention. It may be conversation, scratching their back, or simply sitting with them.
Your Weekly Challenge:
Hop over to the Mama Says Namaste group on FaceBook and share your best bedtime story. It may be a horror story of what has not worked, or a first success, a funny story or a sweet moment. Bedtime never goes away - and sharing your own experience helps you see that you are not alone in this, and we have the power of community to help and support each other.
The more we recognize those personality styles and those strengths and what triggers us, the more we can come back to how the uniqueness in each of us strengthens all of us.