When I hear the word “bedtime”, I literally throw a party in my head! No word of lie, I’m sure some days I even start dancing a little without noticing!
But it wasn’t always this way. There was a time not too long ago that seeing bedtime creeping up would spark a rush of feelings that were far from anything that would even resemble a party!
Dread, exhaustion, frustration…just to name a few.
Bedtime battles are extremely common with young children, and it’s not unusual for the word “bedtime” to initiate a battle between parent and child of epic proportions!
We had a pretty solid bedtime routine, but as Maddie got older, and we moved to a new house/city this past summer, it just wasn’t doing the trick anymore.
I don’t know about your kids, but Maddie’s got a set of lungs that has made me question sometimes why my neighbours haven’t called the police!
Seriously, it would get that bad! And it had to stop!
I’d read about (and attempted) many methods to overcome bedtime battles, until the crying finally stopped one day. No more tears when I’d say “It’s Bedtime”…because I stopped saying it.
My 3 year old decides when it’s bedtime now.
Don’t take this the wrong way, I didn’t just give in and say “Fine, stay up, take away the brief moment of quiet I spend all day looking forward to”…NO WAY was that happening!
We don’t have bedtime in our house, we have quiet time.
What Is Quiet Time?
Quiet Time is a set time each day that Maddie goes to her room and plays, quietly, and alone.
We explained very specifically when quiet time was introduced that it is Grown Up Time in the house, so that means she must stay in her room until she decides she is ready to go to bed.
If she comes out of her room, then we know she is ready to go to sleep.
How Does This Work?
I’ll be honest, when I was first on the fence about trying this I had 2 or 3 Starbucks DoubleShot Energy Drinks ready to go for the long night I was anticipating! Knowing what a nightmare it was trying to get Maddie to go to sleep just the night before, I was sure she would be up all night, and then cranky the entire following day.
She wasn’t either!
I kid you not, the very first night we read a story to wind down, then left her to her “Quiet Time”. After only 10 minutes we heard a happy little voice at the top of the stairs call down and say “I’m ready to sleep now!”
That was it!
Making it her decision instead of something that was forced on her was completely game changing.
I mean think about it, they’re being told every day when to eat, what to eat, when to play, where to play, even when to go to the bathroom…maybe try giving them this one?!
Obviously not every child is the same, and they will all react to this method differently. But I have never seen it fail!
Sometimes they have a few late nights the first week or so, but without the crying and tantrums (PLUS all the stuff your child does!), you’ll enjoy a more peaceful bedtime, and at that point you wont care what time it is!
Have you had to overcome bedtime battles in your house? How did you do it? Comment below!
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