“It’s time for bed” is always followed by interesting antics. You never really know what will ensue.
They work slow and unmotivated throughout the whole process of getting ready for bed. Or they whine or they need to eat or drink or . . . you get the picture?
I’m amazed because we do the same thing at same time every night.
As I was searching for answers to this issue, I realized that I was telling my kids what to do. Instead I want to help them know what to do. I want them to feel in charge and in control over their bedtime routine. So the question I had to answer for myself is, how do I help my kids feel in charge of bedtime.
I made up this tool to help and I’m amazed at the difference it’s made in our home.
This tool can be used for anything routine that needs work.
This is how I learned to teach my kids their routines.
1) I sat down to determine what the routine should be. Simple enough, right?
Get a notebook and pen and start writing bedtime routine at the top followed by the steps to be completed each night.
Put dirty clothes in hamper
Go to potty
Wipe, flush and wash hands
Brush teeth and rinse
Turn off light and turn on sound
Do bedtime snuggles and prayer with mom and dad
After I wrote it out, I realized that is a lot for a three year old and a five year old to remember.
2) Then, I made a checklist for me and a visual checklist for them.
3) Practice makes perfect. We practiced going to bed during the day when nobody was tense. Yes I know it sounds silly but this works.
And you know what, it worked. Now there is no fussing, when i say it’s bedtime. We know what to do now and we have a tool to help us remember.
How have you dealt with routine struggles?