Summers on its way, Yay!
But when the Sun has his hat on, then the children want to play!
For many parents of young children, this means sleepless or late nights, and early mornings.
ITS NOT FAIR
I remember my own two little ones complaining at bedtime, about the children playing outside in the street, younger than them.
And questioning me why they had to go to bed, while the sun is still shining?
Often using guilt as their preferred tool of triumph, protesting;
‘I don’t want to go to bed, it’s not fair, the sun is still out.’
But I was confident that, keeping to their bedtime routine was good for them. That’s how I managed to remain calm and stay strong and persevere.
It was hard though, I must admit.
But had I felt guilty and uncertain, I may have succumbed and given in, allowing them to stay up a little later?
That would have been a BIG mistake!
If we succumb to our childrens guilt trips, and move the goal posts just once, we can expect our children to make us move them even further the next time, as they try to find out how far they can push things in their favour?
Guaranteed, next time, they will use that as their trump card.
So, prepare yourself for most childrens favourite phrase, you know, the one that makes most parents cringe in annoyance at themselves of;
‘It’s not fair, you let me yesterday, why not today?’
To which, no parent can ever find a justifiable explanation.
So, we either end up giving into them once again, creating another unwanted habit, that’ll be hard to break?
Or, we become annoyed and upset with ourselves, for giving in to them in the first place?
Resulting in a no win for us parents!
REVELLING IN THE RESULTS
That’s why, it’s best to persevere and stay strong from the outset.
If we can persevere with routines until we get the results we want, then life will become much easier for ourselves, as well as our children.
Other parents and their children, (such as those playing outside at bedtime) may take a different approach?
And that’s fine for them.
After all, they are the ones who will be responsible for their own childrens health and well -being and managing their own childrens behaviour.
But you will be responsible for your children, no one else’s.
Focusing on the most beneficial, proactive approach, that’s suitable for you and your child is always best.
This I may add, is not the easiest approach initially. But I promise, long term you’ll be revelling in the results.
KEEP IT POSITIVE
It’s a good idea to keep a good balance between, the positive reasons for following the routine, and the negative reasons for not. This means, if our children refuse to go to bed, we can point out the positive reasons why they should, and highlight the negatives of staying awake.
A typical example could sound something like this;
‘Go to sleep now Sam or else you will be too tired to play with your friends at nursery tomorrow, and that won’t be any fun. And don’t forget that you’re going to need plenty of sleep to give you energy, so you can climb that big climbing frame when you go to the park with Granddad in the afternoon too! But you won’t be able to if you are too tired. And I know you are really excited to do all that so, the sooner you go to sleep, the quicker tomorrow will come, and you can show him how high you can climb.’
Always try to end on a positive.
This may seem like a long -winded way to say;
‘Go to sleep!’
But it’s the quickest and most effective way in the long run.
Highlighting the positives and negatives, encourages our children to want to follow routines, a lot more than just telling them to comply or else.
Providing an explanation helps them to know, exactly why it benefits them and why we want them to go to sleep?
Routines then make sense.
And when they make sense to our children, the sun may have his hat on, but our children will try to sleep anyway!
Your Child is a Gift, Enjoy the Present!