September 28, 2012

When bedtime is a bad time, bad attitudes, nighttime fears and monsters under the bed

Even the sweetest children can be a handful when it’s bedtime. The difference can seem like, well, night and day.


Even the sweetest children can be a handful when it’s bedtime. The difference can seem like, well, night and day. But what adults might interpret as irrational behavior around bedtime often comes from a place of fear, frustration or even a healthy but active imagination. How to make bedtime better depends on your child’s personality.

Some children thrive on routine and it upsets them to have those patterns disrupted. No matter the obstacles (and there are many, to be sure), a consistent bedtime with a daily routine is the key to a smooth bedtime.

Other kids are boisterous and energetic. Bedtime is frustrating for them because it means an end to the fun. Develop games around bedtime so that hitting the sack doesn’t mean the end of fun. (Tip: A low-loft bed from the Wakefield collection perfectly combines play with bedtime.)

Your little one might have an outgoing and confident nature that makes bedtime challenging, too. A strong will needs to feel in control: offer choices such as clean up or warm milk first so your child is involved with making decisions around bedtime.

Many children are afraid of the dark and need lots of warmth and love to soothe them around bedtime. In prehistoric times, a person, child or not, left alone was vulnerable to predators; there was safety in numbers. A child that’s afraid of the dark may be picking up on those evolutionary cues that the dark means being eaten, says a Psychology Today article.

In the case of the very creative child, their imaginations can invent boogiemen. Ease their fears about sleeping alone by talking to the monsters under the bed. Knowing the details can give you the tools to offer your son or daughter ways they can resolve the scary situation, and take control.

For more great tips on children and bedtime fears, see: http://www.sleepfoundation.org/article/ask-the-expert/children-and-bedtime-fears-and-nightmares



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