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Sleepovers & Bedtime

I'm Not Tired

Very few parents have escaped the frustration of a child that insists he is not tired and just won't go to sleep. Many times these kids are so tired they can barely stay awake, yet they continue to fight bedtime. We've assembled a few parenting tips for you to draw on when the inevitable "I'm not tired…" moment occurs with your preschooler or kindergartener.

The Anti-Tired Tactics for Parents

Most kids are pretty sure that parents lie about bedtime. They know they still have some playtime left in them and can't seem to understand why we insist that they stop having fun. Kids use a ton of innovative excuses to stay awake and fray mom's and dad's nerves.

  • I'm not tired
  • I'm hungry
  • I'm thirsty
  • I forgot to brush my teeth
  • I have to go to the bathroom
  • Read me another story
  • You're not going to bed yet
  • Just a few more minutes, please

Some kids will do just about anything to avoid going to bed and they usually figure out pretty quickly what works and what doesn't. Don't fall prey to these kiddie connivers. Stick to the bedtime routine and you'll all be a lot happier in the long run.

Combating the Sneaky Non-Sleeper Child

Although it's pretty funny, we parents have to avoid giving in to the sneaky non-sleeper. This is the child who sneaks out of bed, creeps silently to the living room, and takes up a spot near the door where he thinks he can't be seen. Some sneaky non-sleepers even make it all the way into mom's or dad's lap. Be strong! Take your child back to bed and tuck him in again. You may have to do this several times, but you can do it! Hint: Tell your child you'll be back in five minutes to check in on him. Follow through! If he's still awake, quietly say "good job!" as a reward for staying in bed. He'll soon get the message and stay in bed for the night.

Charting Your Child's Sleep

Even young children can benefit from a chat about the importance of sleep. Set a good example for your child by observing a bedtime yourself. If your child is still having trouble accepting bedtime, make a simple monthly tracking chart. For each successful bedtime, have your child place a star the next morning. After a certain agreed-upon number of successes plan a fun treat like a trip to the park or rent a movie. Most kids have at least occasional sleep difficulties. But, without careful adherence to the rules, even a small sleep problem can become a big one. Stick to the rules and your child will benefit.