“I don’t want to sleep Mum”
“I’m not tired”
“Just five more minutes please”
Sound’s common? As parents of Toddlers, we all know that our little ‘grown ups’ can be extremely strong-willed and some days we feel like we’re raising tiny little dictators.
However, it is our role as parents to provide our children with firm but loving boundaries. We role model the ideal habits and behaviours we wish for our children in order to bring them up to be the best versions that they can be.
We won’t be allowing our little children to run around misbehaving or hitting things over in the shops and the like, will we? If they are struggling with their work in school, we guide and support them through it and if they are struggling with life’s challenges, we guide them slowly through it.
How does this translate to sleep?
It’s not very different in terms of sleep either!
We know the benefits of good quality, restorative sleep. Research has shown that good quality sleep provides our bodies opportunities to repair, fight any infections or illnesses and also develop and grow.
Therefore, as parents, we need to guide and nurture our children to sleep well and have good restorative sleep in order to continue their growth into well-adjusted adults.
So what do we do to stop the power struggles at bedtime and get your peaceful nights back?
We give them control.
Yes, you’ve heard me correctly. We give them control but within limits of course! 😉
Here are some tips and strategies you can try to stop bedtime battles for good!
1. Let them be kids. After dinner, make a big deal out of this but ask them “Who wants to be a dinosaur/princess/superhero and lets stomp/twirl/superhero all the way into the shower? First one there wins!!!
2. Let them choose. Choose what pyjamas to wear tonight, which book to read for bedtime (A or B choices work best) Giving them the choice in the matter allows them to gain some control in the matter. Making it fun by giggling about it, be AMAZED by their decision-making skills, and letting them know how grown up they are!
3. Let them decide. Once again, we let them choose what they want for breakfast tomorrow. This lets them fulfill the need to gain control – within reason. Provide them again with choice e.g. A. Toast or B. Cereal and discuss this decision-making process with them. Including them in this process gives them a sense of independence that they crave.
4. Let them stall. Hear me out, letting them ‘stall’ might actually give you your peaceful bedtimes back. Start the bedtime routine slightly earlier (normally you may start bath around 645pm, bring that forward to 630pm). Let them ‘waste’ time and do what they wish without the added pressure of you chasing them but set a timer and let them know that there’s a timer on 😉
5. Provide them with lots of PRAISE and ADMIRATION of how clever they are for being able to make these CHOICES
Would you like to find out more about how you can help your toddler embrace their sleep and make sleep a thing in your household? Feel free to book a call with our DREAM TEAM!