Parenting Confessions: Living Through Bedtime When the Kids Keep Getting Up

Sandra Nishihata

Pleeeeease, kiddo! Stay in bed before I lose my mind!!!

It’s 10pm on a Thursday night. My kids went to sleep at 9:30pm. Their bedtime was 7pm. How in the world did they make it two and a half hours without me trying to strangle them???

Here’s how it went:

It’s 7:30, go brush your teeth, get something to drink and snuggle a little with me. Which all happened. No issues, no discussion. But after that....

“Mammy... I need snuggles!” (That’s little sucker M)

*giggles* (because big sucker K is making him laugh)

*bumpingnoises*

*glassdropsandbreaks*

“Muuuuum... I am sorry, I broke the sleep drops...”

GEEEEEEEZ! Go the F*** to sleep!!!!!

After about a million threats (your Nintendo is GONE! No movie tomorrow! No chocolate EVER AGAIN!!!!), I went into the room, because I still heard whispers.

Yeah... guess what? My “I need my own room, because M is too loud”-daughter and her “K is never letting me sleep”-brother are laying IN THE SAME BED!

I separated them, because I know exactly that it will end in M being awake at 5am being grumpy as hell and picking on his sister until she wakes up, too, so they can both fight so loud, that they wake up Mama-monster, who is not a morning person, especially when she tried to get the mini-monsters to bed on time...

Ok. Different plan tomorrow. One that I know works much better than desperate threats or bribes.

I’ll make a plan and a chart. It’s best to introduce those things while they are in a good mood. Maybe while playing a board game with them!

They can collect stars for each successful bedtime. And they can trade them in at the end of the week for a reward that you discussed and agreed on together. Because they are more likely to be cooperative when they have a say in the reward.

We also plan out a bedtime routine. Based on my experience and their wishes and needs.

Don’t hesitate to explain why you choose those rules. The more they understand, the less they’ll fight it. And work in some negotiation possibilities! A child that feels recognized and heard, will be much more easier to work with.

Give them consequences for things they are not supposed to do, like keeping each other awake, getting up for playing, etc.. And then stick to them! Don’t tell them consequences that you will not keep up.

I’ll give them some extra snuggles tomorrow. Those are never wrong. And then we’ll find a bedtime solution together!

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