#9 – Teach your child to get ready for bed.
Teaching your child to get him/herself ready for bed is not only another way to help your child be independent, but also a way to increase your child’s concentration in preschool. Including your child in the process of getting ready for bed creates a feeling of joy rather than dread–for both you and your child. Create a bedtime plan that can help take the battle out of your kid’s getting to bed on time. List the things that need to be done, and begin explaining/teaching these tasks to your child.
Get Your Child Involved
Slowly begin giving the child tasks to be responsible for, like pulling down the sheets at night, picking out two books (set limits). Let your child choose the book to to read, which pajamas to wear; let him help getting dressed and undressed. Start with one or two things; as they become successful, increase the responsibility. Being included in this process lets him know that his decisions are important to you. His self worth goes up. It is a win win!
Identify Needs vs. Wants – Then Set Limits
The key in establishing a child’s bedtime routine is to delineate between what your child needs and what she wants. Children need a good deal of sleep. I feel that parents are allowing too much freedom regarding bedtime and not offering a structured routine. Insufficient sleep affects a child’s development, behavior, emotions and ultimately the ability to be successful at school.
The Tiredness Paradox
I often hear from parents that their child “doesn’t seem tired at bedtime” so they allow him to stay up longer. That’s a mistake. Once a child is overtired, it makes it hard to settle in and causes a child to wake up more throughout the night and wake up too early. Moving her bedtime up by 30 minutes may get your child to bed before she becomes overtired.