Monday, September 10, 2012

5 Reasons Bedtime Might Be a Pain in the Ass

You would love to go to bed and get some extra sleep, but your kids probably fuss and want to stay up with the grown ups. If only they knew that after they go to sleep all you do is clean, pay bills, fix whatever they broke, and scourer the internet for what you are doing wrong as a parent and how to fix it-they might not be so sad to go to sleep. Find splice in that someday your revenge will come when they become parents and you get a chance to slip your grandkids chocolate chips before bedtime.

Here are five causes of bedtime frustration and what you can do about it.

1. Eating too much before dinner. While a midnight snack might help get you down, kids systems are quick to turn Mac and cheese into monster fuel. Have dinner a few hours before bedtime and avoid snacks just before bedtime.

+ A recent study indicates earlier mandated bedtimes can lower your child's chances of depression.

2. They want control. It is a normal stage in their development, but unfortunately for you it can turn into a power struggle for any parent with less than Yoda like Jedi mind control powers. The best way to deal with an assertive little one is to integrate choices into the bedtime routine. Do you want the "Dukes of Hazzard" pajamas or the "All in the Family" PJs? Would you like to go to bed at 7:30 or 7:31? This will make them feel in control and get you closer your Jedi certificate.

+ Mike Adamick's five Force moments. My favorite is number 5.

3. They are scared. While you may have spent a small fortune on those black out shades so you could get a good nights sleep, it's helping your kids imagination run wild with what might be lurking in their closet. A night light can help calm their imaginations, as well as reassuring words that you will keep them safe. Remember that this is your opportunity to he build confidence and security in your little one and that it may take a little time to help them master their fears.

+ Monsters are not scaring the piss out of your kid at night. They are wetting the bed for other reasons.

4. Caffeine. You may think that chocolate milk after a nap was ok, but experts suggest no caffeine 6 to 8 hours before bedtime. So if your kid is still napping, that means no caffeine ever.

+ The Impact of Caffeine on Children

5. Bedtime might not be early enough. While your child may seem very awake and full of energy it may be the result of being overtired. When a child is up too long their body releases a stress hormone called cortisone. So if their bedtime is continually a battle, try moving it up 30 minutes and see if things go a little soother.

+ One third of Americans are sleep deprived.

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