Going to bed

By the end of the day, kids and adults alike can feel tired and grumpy – a perfect storm for things to get a bit wobbly. Having a familiar bed-time routine in place, such as bath, teeth, stories and song, can turn a potentially fraught time into a special time for the whole family.

Top 5 Tips

1. It’s a good idea to give children some indication that bed-time is soon, rather than abruptly announcing it’s time for bed. You could say, ‘It’s almost time for your bath. You have 10 minutes to finish your game.’

2. Make cooperation fun. Use bubble bath if your child is reluctant to get in the water, or piggy-back them down the hall to get their pyjamas on if they’re not too keen on the idea.

3. Giving children choices is another great idea to deflate a potential high-tension situation. ‘Do you want the blue pyjamas or the red ones?’ ‘Do you want this book or that one?’

4. Give children reasons. Explain to your child why they need to brush their teeth, or get enough sleep. Try to avoid the ‘Because I said so’ reply to ‘Why?’ questions.

5. Reading a story can be a special time of the day. As a rule of thumb, aim to spend at least 10-15 minutes per day with each of your children doing something special. Known as ‘time in’, this fills up children’s emotional tanks and encourages good behaviour.

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