Are you suffering from miserable evenings caused by children that simply refuse to calm down and go to sleep? You are not alone. There are hundreds of thousands of people up and down the country going through exactly the same experience as you.
Kids are only human so they will suffer sleepless nights just the same as the rest of us do. If this problem occurs night after night, however, we need to take a close look at the reasons why it is happening before we go insane. Not getting a good nights sleep is going to upset the children’s waking hours too. You are probably aware of how cranky we all get when we are tired, and children are no exception.
If your child is having trouble getting to sleep, here are a few things you can do that may help.
Are your kids getting enough exercise in the afternoons? I don’t mean by walking to the shops with you, children need much more activity than that. Do you ever see them running at full speed, chasing other children and playing the games they love? If not, your priority should be to provide useful exercise. This can be achieved by a trip to your local park or a walk to a field with your child and a friend of theirs. Encourage running races and any other game you can think of. I used to challenge my children to run off to a tree in the distance, holding hands, and count how long it took them to get there and back. The next time they did it, I knocked a couple of counts off the total, so they thought they had raced a little quicker. Then they wanted to try and improve their times without my encouragement. No, I wasn’t really counting, but there was no harm done. By spending an hour giving the children good exercise, the first step is taken care of.
The bedtime routine begins right after the evening meal. Now the little cherubs will be feeling a little weary after all of that exercise and food so don’t allow any napping. It is time for them to take a bath, so they feel clean and relaxed. Bathtime can be fun, and it will probably rouse them from their tiredness a little but that is ok.
After they are bathed and dry it is time to wrap them up warm in pyjamas, dressing gown, and slippers and gather on the sofa to watch a program, or even a film that they enjoy. Then, when that is over, it is time for bed. Read them a story from Sainsburys ebook site and then off to sleep. Be firm here as you have probably let them stay up late in the past. The exercise and relaxing bath should help them nod off.
From now on, adhere to that bedtime; no excuses.
The next morning, get the kids up nice and early. If they haven’t slept well they will be very tired, but be determined and wake them.
You have now established a routine. Wake them at the same time every day, give them exercise, relax them before bed, and put them to bed at the same time every night. Once children fall into this routine, their sleeping patterns will improve. Then you will be able to have a glass of wine and regain your sanity. Result.