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Get to Bed!

Purpose:
For many parents, it's a real struggle to get kids to settle down and get to bed at an appropriate time, especially on school nights. To make bedtime as smooth and stress-free as possible, incorporate some fun activities and bonding sessions once your child is settled into bed. Before long, he'll be looking forward to bedtime!

Bedtime Activities:

  • Let your child pick out a story for you to read. The next night, you select the story. Your child will enjoy taking turns with you. After the story, discuss what happened, what your child liked, and what he learned from it.
  • Play some quiet, soothing music in the room, or try a white noise machine. Some children have trouble falling asleep in complete silence.
  • Take turns telling a story. Your child can say the first line, then you say a line, and then continue alternating. You'll be surprised at the imaginative tale you can create together.
  • Paste a constellation of glow-in-the-dark stars on the bedroom ceiling to create an imaginative galaxy. At bedtime, turn off the lights and encourage your child to gaze up into the "night sky" as he drifts off to sleep.
  • Turn bedtime into "download time" and take turns sharing about your days. Trade stories about school, work, friends, errands, or exciting things coming up, like vacations, birthdays, or family parties. You can also take a trip down memory lane by sharing old stories.
  • Set up an evening routine chart and checkoff items as they complete them.

Outcome:
The time just before bed is a perfect opportunity to spend quality bonding time with your child, de-stress after a busy day, and share thoughts and feelings. Your child will come to look forward to bedtime-and you may even get to know each other better.