We've all had the misfortune of trying to get a small (often disagreeable) child to go to bed, often with a lot of screaming and tears, not to mention the child.
Even though kids get cranky when they are tired, they don't seem to ever want to go to sleep! It's a constant headache for caregivers, and I'm sure you have tried everything from bribery, to time-out threats, and even begging.
What you really need to do is understand why children resist their bedtime, and solve those problems with gentle but firm rules.
Choose The Best Bedtime Together
Don't be surprised when they say "never" with a giggle! Keep in mind that most children need nine to 11 hours of sleep each night, and use a picture of a clock to pick out the best time together, so they feel like they have helped make the decision!
Keep It Consistent
This is tricky when your week starts to get hectic, but the best way to ensure they are ready to fall asleep when their bedtime arrives is to stay regular.
Turn Off Screens
It doesn't matter whether it's a TV, phone, or tablet, as all of them affect your child's hormonal balance.
Even half an hour of screen time will keep your child up for another two hours!
But how do you create the perfect environment for sleep?
Set The Bedtime Scene
You can "train" your child to know when it is time to sleep by having the right environment ready for their bedtime.
A dark room with the window open a crack to keep it cool will help them fall asleep quickly, and having a go-to-bed activity will change the focus from going to sleep to relaxation.
Tell Them A Story
Part of the reason children don't want to sleep is because they don't want to be alone while you are doing other things. Instead of making them feel cast aside, reading or praying with them or talking about each other's day will make them feel like you are there for them and are interested in spending time with them.
Keep A Watchful Eye
If all of this isn't working at all, they may be developing a sleep disorder. This has many causes but you should always talk to a doctor to get the best opinion.
Signs to watch out for include trouble falling asleep, difficulty rising after the right amount of sleep, and waking up throughout the night.