Children are funny creatures. It’s hard to wake them up in the morning. They protest and whine and snuggle back in the blankets, but it’s not as hard as putting them back to bed. They flail in the bath till you’re wet to your bones, they grow extra limbs and pull out arms you had just pulled through pajama sleeves, then they bounce on the bed, borrowing energy off each other till you can hear your brain rattling in your skull.
Here are a few tips to make bed time not only easier but more fun so that bed time doesn’t become synonymous with dread and anxiety but adventure and a great time to bond.
There are countless Halloween costumes hanging in the closet which have no significant use. Employ them towards making bed times a special treat once in a while. The children will feel like it’s an occasion and be more willing to shimmy in to their special pajamas.
You can introduce themes to make bed time something to look forward to. From Peter Pan to Alice in Wonderland the world of fairy tales and animation are full of subjects that can be adopted. The activities can be as simple as reading the themed books before bed time or as elaborate as making crafts, lunches and pajamas related to the theme; whatever gives least trouble and the most results.
Make the bed a pleasing treasure palace to stimulate the child’s imagination. This can be achieved with a simple hook attached to the ceiling and sheets suspended from it to create a tent like effect. Adding fairy lights or ornaments to the tent can also increase a child’s appeal to sleep early, or never come out of bed at all.
Milk and Cookies:
A light snack like milk and cookies before bed is a good pre-ritual to adopt. It signifies the end of the day for the children and can be counted as a treat for being good and going to bed without fuss. It will lead happy hugs and kisses goodnight rather than sobs and wails of abandonment.
Make every sleep an adventure. Pick a place, any place, and talk to your child about it before they go to sleep. It could be Paris, Aztec step pyramids, under the sea or even on a lonely planet somewhere in space. Discuss the place; what you would do there, what you would eat, the people you will meet, and tell your child that when you sleep you will be going on an adventure. So ever evening can end with the prospect; “Where are we going tonight?”
This will help the child look forward to sleep and also channel their imagination and curiosity to a positive effort guided by you. It will help you bond and encourage sharing.