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Friday, January 25, 2013

"How do you get the kids to go to bed earlier?"

Nothing sweeter than a sleeping child  :)
The question was asked, "How do you get the kids to go to bed earlier?"  Isn't that the mother's dream?  Well, it IS possible but it won't happen overnight (no pun intended).

Let's face it - there's a lot going on in the evening.  There are shows on TV,  Dad is home from work, and of course, homework to complete.  If you can reduce the number of distractions in the evening, you will have more success in establishing an earlier bedtime.

Making the hours after dinner a winding down time rather than an active (or hyperactive) time will also help transition from activity to sleep.  Reading scriptures and saying prayers together after dinner followed by bathtime and more quiet reading is very relaxing.  If possible, make the hours after dinner and before bedtime a TV or game free time.

The one things mom's hate to do when establishing an early bedtime is waking the kids up earlier in the morning.  Sure it would be nice if they slept in and went to bed early but I think that's asking too much  :)  If a child (age 5-12) needs 10-12 hours of sleep each night, that translates into a 7 am to 7 pm wake time or 7 am to 9 pm.  Anything shorter than that isn't healthy to their growing bodies.

Being consistent is the key to all successful endeavors.  Sit down with the kids and tell them your plans for a new bedtime and getting up time.  Explain why you are doing this but don't go into too much detail.  You are doing this because it is good for them and good for you and your sanity (but you don't need to tell them that!)


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