Jul 24 2017

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3 Ways to Win the Bedtime Battles (for you and your kids)

3 Ways to Win the Bedtime Battles (for you and your kids)

“I’m going to banish you,” my three-year-old girl said with determination, pointing her finger at me.

“You’re going to banish me?” I said, playing along. I knew she was trying her best to avoid the dreaded nap time.

Nap time, bedtime. Sometimes getting enough rest is a battle—complete with threats and pleading on both sides of the fence. In a world of FOMO (fear of missing out), the struggle to win the bedtime battle is real. Getting enough rest for ourselves and helping our kids get enough rest doesn’t have to be a battle.

3 Ways to Win the Bedtime Battle

    • Get into a routine. When it comes to sleep, a routine is one of the best ways to win. Routines help get the body and mind into a rhythm. This is not only true for kids, but it’s true for adults as well. Take time to set a routine and try it for a time. When it no longer works, make a new routine.
    • Answer the inner (and outer) cries of resistance before bed. You know yourself and your kids. You can make a checklist of the “musts” before bed and add that to the routine. My youngest loves having lavender diffused as she goes to bed. If I set it up and have it going before she climbs in, she doesn’t have to ask me. This goes for a story, a sip of water, and having favorite loveys. Also, be sure to give a heads up for transitioning from play to bedtime. A simple “_____ minutes before bed” will do. I set an alarm for myself.
    • Pray. If going to bed is a battle, pray about it. Ask God for wisdom to parent well and take good care of yourself. The issues making bedtime harder aren’t always obvious. God made us, he loves us and our kids more, and he isn’t stingy in giving wisdom.

Resources you can use to win the bedtime battle:

What does banish mean to a three-year-old girl?

When my girl looked at my reaction to her banishing finger, she said, “I’m not going to banish you.”

“I’m glad you’re not going to banish me. I might cry if you banished me.”

“I’m not going to banish you or Daddy or BunBun or Bear or Teenager or…(she named five or six other people.)”

After her nap, I asked her what banish meant. She said, “It means you put your sword out and you banish the giant.

I didn’t banish you, I just put my sword [her pointing finger] out.”

To her, I might have been the giant. For me, nap and bedtime was the giant. We all might need to pull out our swords and banish the giant of getting enough rest—for us and for them.

Want more parenting tips?

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Battle photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash


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