Let’s talk about children and sleep. How often do your children resist going to sleep? Why do you think that’s so? What can you do about it?
I have had my fair share of stressful encounters with putting little ones to bed. Most of us have experienced frustration at some time. There is a long list of common exchanges that leave many parents annoyed.
We’ve all heard these statements: I need a drink. I’m hungry. I’m not tired. I don’t want to go to bed.
Do you ever wonder why this is happening?
I’d like to point out a few things that I am aware of. I am sure there are more official explanations, but mine are along these lines.
Children think they are missing out on something. You walking out the door is distressing. They may find a dark room intimidating. The more you push, the more things disintegrate. Children pick up on your tension and then they push harder. Even if all you want to do is clean up the kitchen or take a shower, they think it’s something wonderful that they are excluded from. They don’t like being separated from you.
If you pressure your child, even if it isn’t verbally, they resist cooperating. Rushing rarely works.
Try to devote some uninterrupted time to help your child feel calm, secure, and loved. Linger a little longer for their sake and for yours.
I was reading an article that made a good suggestion. Tell your child you’ll check back on them in 5 minutes. Then extend the time to 30. They like to know you are near and they like feeling like they are still connected.
All things pass.
It may seem like an eternity, but trust me, it won’t be long until they actually want to sleep more than they want to be awake.
Now that’s a switch.