Why Is It So Challenging?
It almost seems that the area of bedtime can be a battle for every stage of parenting, from birth to curfew. This week we will address those issues, as well as, steps we can take as parents to help the bedtime battle.
The first thing we need to ask is why does this battle take place? For smaller children the resistance can be rooted in fear. There may be a legitimate fear of the dark, a fear of the unknown or a fear of being alone. The last may be especially true if one parent has left. We need to be sensitive to our children if fear is involved. Things that seem irrational to adults can be a source of fear in children because of the developmental phase they are in. For example, fears of being sucked down the drain with the draining water in the bathtub is very real to the over imaginative child.
Bedtime can also be one of the first battles of the will, however. It becomes not about going to bed or staying in bed, it becomes a battle of control. This can be one of the first big tests for making your “no mean no.” It is our job as parents to take the time at bedtime to decipher if there are legitimate fears but be consistent with our “no”.