Bedtime struggles are a theme that I hear often in my Positive Discipline Parenting classes. While there are no instant magic tools out there for parenting. Yet, we can work together to create a more peaceful and positive bedtime experience for the whole family!
Here are 4 tips that I hope you find helpful in the next week!
- Reframe the idea of bedtime, and routines
In our house we have a witching hour from 3-5pm. During this time we experience many highs and lows. Our children can be engaged while playing together one second and melting down the next. I have worked well over 60 families in the concept of Positive Discipline and many share that this time is stressful for everyone in the house.
I started to reframe my idea of bedtime and routines and how I can help my family work through these challenging times and then continue in a positive and peaceful way navigate bedtime.
What I realized was that our bedtime routine needed to start in the late afternoon hours. I worked with my children using various tools to create a routine that we use most afternoons. We would eat a healthy snack before entering engaged activities focused on literacy, language and creatively before eating supper. After supper, our bedtime routine would take over. This has led to many less days filled with tantrums, tears, and frustrations.
This idea can work for families with working parents as well as stay at home parents. Basically once your children are back in your care, a bedtime routine start! Today, start your routine by having this time before bed to an environment of calm, connection and predictability.
- Cleaning Up
A clean up time for toys, clothing and other objects around the house is a great way to end a day. I find that our house feels better, our children know where their toys are, and cleaning up helps to transition from play to more calm activities before bed.
Later this week, I will be positing on transition songs. Including one that can be signed while singing to help children associate what task will be next!
- Predictable while being open for Flexibility
Research shows that children thrive with routines and predictability. In short, this is due to a child having a sense of autonomy over their life and situation. We use the tool of a routine chart for bedtime to be predictable and flexible. We have a routine that important tasks are listed such as brushing teething, bathing, picking out clothes for the next day and reading. Yet, our children are able to choice which task they would like to pick next.
What is fascinating is that we are now using other Positive Discipline tools such as offering choices as a way for our children to gain autonomy over their bedtime in a mutually respectful manner.
- Connect, Connect, Connect
According to Adlerian Psychology (the foundation of Positive Discipline) a child’s primary goal is belonging and significance. Connection is one way that this goal is met. Take the time to connect with each children during their bedtime routine. Perhaps, this is reading stories, snuggling, signing and singing, massages, or sharing stories about their day.
Signing is a way to increase awareness and impact a child’s bedtime routine. When your babies are under 3 years of age this is a great way to promote early communication. Your little babies as young as 6 months of age has needs and using sign hey are able to have these needs confidently communicated and responded too!
I have many more tips and tools planned for the upcoming week for our falling in love with parenting! These tools will be filled with information from Positive Discipline and baby sign language.
We will be offering Mid-Fall programs starting the week of October 31! We have small class sizes to ensure high quality programming that meets each family’s needs. And due to the demand of our programs, classes are already half full or filled.
My Smart Hands Baby Sign Language
Level I (8 weeks starting October 31)
11am – FULL
1:15 – half full
Level II (8 weeks starting October 31)
Noon – half full
Positive Discipline Parenting (6 weeks starting November 7)
6:30pm – half full
Find your village with Little Hands & Me Parenting Network!
With you in your parenting journey,