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Bedtime Chaos with a toddler…
This study got me thinking about what I do to help my children succeed not only in school, but in life. When my son became a toddler, we had a hard time keeping him in bed at night. He would wander downstairs the moment we left his room. We tried so many different things to get him to stay in his room at night. It was getting so frustrating when bedtime rolled around. I’m sure he felt that we were anxious too. Honestly, it was chaos. This was at the exact same time that my daughter was born, so nobody was getting any kind of good sleep.
To him, we were just stopping all of the fun, separating him from us, and putting him to bed. He didn’t care that it was getting late or that he needed to rest.
Setting up a bedtime routine
I read that setting up a routine and schedule is good for kids. Kids feel more secure when they know what to expect. So, we established a bedtime routine. Our routine consisted (and still does) of a relaxing bath time of play and cleaning up. Next, we go downstairs for a snack of fresh fruits and veggies with milk. Next, we brush teeth. Next, Mom and Dad take turns switching off nightly on reading 2 books to each child. Finally, it is prayer time followed up by hugs and kisses.
Setting up a routine was the most genius thing we did and it worked like a charm. When we first started the routine, Elijah would get confused at what we did 1st, 2nd, and so on. My husband make a chart with him cutting out pictures of a bathtub, fruit, toothbrush, books, prayer, and a bed. He was able to visualize what order everything went.
I really think that setting up a routine or schedule for kids builds confidence and security.
Don’t let routines rule you
We also have established routines during the day including a morning routine, meal time routine, clean up routine, and even washing hands when coming home. Like with anything in life, routines must be flexible. I feel like people are so tied down to their schedules that they don’t have time to be spontaneous and fun.
Schedules and routines are good, however they do need an occasional break. On weekends, bedtimes are a little later. On rainy or snowy days, they might stay in their pjs until lunchtime. When on vacation, bed times are a little later and the routine a little shorter, but not forgotten.
Routines and schedules are tools that can vanquish bedtime chaos as well as provide a solid foundation for your children’s future. Use them wisely.
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