BED TIME: Bed time is often a nightmare! Some children are scared of the dark, some suffer separation anxieties, some find the time boring before sleep and want to stay "riled up". These are some of the main
issues, but there are more and these make bedtime the main time when they become demanding and manipulative.
1. Eating: Nothing to eat for 2 hours before bedtime. Kids will demand it, but they are typically equating boredom with hunger and food will
likely rile them up, as their foods of choice are full of sugar and other energizers.
2. Melatonin: only use with older children if needed. Only one 1mg tablet 2 HOURS BEFORE THEY ARE TO BE ASLEEP and OK this with their physician first. This is to set
their biological clocks. Melatonin does not make you sleep. It resets your clock for sleep. So give one time only and the same time each night if possible. If it does not work on day one repeat each night and you should see results in 5-14 days.
Establish a firm bedtime: In order to implement the above effectively you need to establish time for the child to be in the bedroom and in bed. You can not make them sleep. The idea is more to offer quiet time that is conducive to falling asleep than to see
it as a time to force sleep. That (forcing the issue of falling asleep) just increases resistance, anxiety (they then expect punishment), and fear. As a parent honor this bedtime. You chose to have the child, so love your child to sleep. Do not schedule
events during this time if you can help it. If you can't, then have someone be home with the children/child during this time. It should be very rare to have children out during this time. Routine with this is your best friend.
4. Drinks: Water only.
Not a lot. It is to help with dry mouths and not to encourage demands for toileting! No other kind of drinks as they will want more and use them as a stimulant! If they drink it fast and demand more just say no. They will learn to make it last.
for you: You know when the scream means something bad has happened and you better come here versus the scream just for attention. Allow yourself to respond only a set number of times unless the screaming/yelling indicates an emergency. Three should be sufficient.
6. Electronics: None. If any it should be just music and no video. Music does not need to be classical, but the beat should approximate the beat of the heart, it should not be driving, no syncopation, as little vocal as possible.