Dealing with Bedtime | Part 5


Get The Big Picture

We may ask why are we doing this in the first place? Is having a bedtime really that important?  We have given several reasons through the course of this week answering those questions. Everything from making sure your “no means no” to preparing your teen for college life.  There is one more area that children’s bedtime affects and that is the parent’s marriage.  There needs to be time for relationship for mom and dad.  That is why it is important, even in the teen years when they may not have a bedtime, for the parents to have some time together before they go to sleep.  This time can be debriefing the day, a time to reconnect, or simply just some adult time.  Making sure to have this time is one of the ways to communicate to your children, as well as your spouse, that the marriage relationship is a priority.  Make sure to carve out this time as husband and wife, especially if you are in a season of battling bedtime.



Dealing with Bedtime | Part 52018-07-19T09:29:51-04:00

Dealing with Bedtime | Part 4


Help Them Manage Their Fears

We mentioned earlier this week that one of the reasons for the bedtime battle especially for young children is fear.  It is our job as parents to acknowledge, help them cope and eventually overcome these fears.  But what does that look like?  It first starts with acknowledging that it is happening.  We need to comfort our young child when they have a bad dream or are afraid of the dark.  To this day I don’t like sleeping with my closet door open.  We can then begin to train them to cope with their fears.  Get to the bottom of what it is. If it is simply the dark then a night light may help.  If it is bad dreams then we can begin to train our children to pray and ask God for comfort and protection. Every child is different in this area so we need to take the time to find out what our child needs.  Parenting doesn’t end at night.  Take the time to comfort your child and help them work through their fears.



Dealing with Bedtime | Part 42018-07-19T09:28:23-04:00

Dealing with Bedtime | Part 3


Teens And Bedtime

The goal for parenting is raising a Godly, responsible adult, who is both marriageable and employable.  Part of this is knowing how to be responsible with getting some sleep.  How many college students are not responsible with this part of their lives and their classes suffer? It is very difficult in the dorm to make the right decision and spend some time sleeping, when friends are up talking, gaming or having fun.

Preparing your child for this, starts back in high school.  Parents should have the goal of allowing their child be in charge of their own bedtime before they leave the house, so they can practice.  As a child proves to be more and more responsible with their bedtime and getting up on time, their bedtime can be pushed back.  Gradually over time it can be moved to where there is no set “bedtime”.  Two things with no bedtime need to be discussed.   The teen needs to realize that mom and dad need their own time and are not there to entertain them.  This may mean that they spend time in their room after a certain point. Secondly, parameters need to be placed on internet and phone usage. It is unwise for a child to be allowed internet usage in their room with all the temptations out there, especially when there is not the accountability around.  This is great practice for teens but they can easily be given a bedtime again if they are abusing the privilege or are unable to get up and function in the morning.

Make sure to take the time to train your teen in how to be responsible with their bedtime.



Dealing with Bedtime | Part 32018-07-19T09:27:23-04:00

Dealing with Bedtime | Part 2


Get The Child Into A Routine

For those who are in the midst of the bedtime battle, having a daily schedule with a wake up and bedtime is that is consistent will help. This means that a child’s body can get used to going to bed, whether that is naptime or nighttime, at the same time everyday.  A scheduled wake up time helps this process as well. If bedtime has become a battle it may be best to place a priority on being home with enough time to be consistent with bedtime.

Another thing that helps a child get prepared for sleep is a predictable bedtime routine.  This can be established for both nap and nighttime.  A warm bath and teeth brushed, followed by low lights and calming activities help this process.   For example, taking the time to sit with your child to read them a story or Bible story will be much more helpful then a tickle fest or pillow fight.  Make sure to sit with your child after lights out to pray with them.  This also helps them end the bedtime routine in a peaceful and relational way rather then a battle.

Take the time to analyze your schedule or bedtime routine to see if there is anything that is detrimental to your child getting sleepy or fueling the bedtime fight.



Dealing with Bedtime | Part 22018-07-19T09:26:06-04:00

Dealing with Bedtime | Part 1


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”.



Dealing with Bedtime | Part 12018-07-19T09:36:27-04:00

Bedtime Communication


Another great venue for communication is bedtime.  When children are small it is so important to create a bedtime routine.  Many of these routines include reading to your child and singing before they go to sleep.  The important thing, about these sweet times with our children, is just getting to be with them in these last few moments of their day.  As our children grow, many times we leave these “bedtime routines” behind.  Bedtimes can even become a battle and a time of frustration for both parent and child.

Many times if a bedtime routine can be put back into place a battle can be avoided.  Instead of rocking your child to sleep with a song, you can sit with them on their bed and listen.  For many kids a hard day is being processed through in these last moments before going to sleep.  If we are there in these moments with our older kids, just listening, we can help by offering support or even just the comfort of mom or dad.  The great bedtime moments don’t have to be left behind as our kids get older.  We again just have to be intentional in giving our kids our time and teaching communication.

Bedtime Communication2010-08-12T20:14:46-04:00