Everyone knows bedtime can be the best of times and the worst of times. For me, the majority of the time, I am on my final drop of gas when bedtime rolls around. Honestly, a lot of the time I’m on empty and just running on fumes. Bedtime can be so magical. I’ve had some of the best conversations with my kids right before bed. But, on the contrary I’ve lost my cool way too many times at bedtime.
We are constantly going through the stage where our kids are pushing the boundaries. It seems like I do all I can to make sure they have everything they need for bedtime. But, without fail, they think of something toooootally extra that they happen to need at the exact moment I’m closing the door with my last string of patience.
It could be a drink of water, they could “need” to go potty, they need to be tucked in (after already being tucked in three times), or as my 4-year-old has started doing; they may need to “tell you something”. Many times these last minute request are the last straw for me. It’s the point where I turn from “cool mom” to some type of alien-life-form with a temper that no one recognizes. As much as I try to be patient…real talk…ain’t nobody got patience for all that!
After enduring the “bedtime dilemma” far too many times, a friend told us her trick. She leaves a treat out for the kids. She would tell her kids that if they go to bed well, they’d get to eat their treat in the morning. If they don’t, Mom and/or dad will eat their treat.
This was the most genius thing I had ever heard and I began using it immediately. For the most part, this trick works really well. I have adapted it to fit the needs of my family, so below are some of the ideas to use with this trick:
How to Use The Tip
1. Leave out a treat for the morning. Oftentimes, if we do the treat trick, my kids want to pick out the treat and set it where they want so they can have it in the morning.
2. Set out a favorite toy. Often times I have told my kids that their favorite toy (at the moment) will be waiting for them in the morning when they wake up. If they don’t go to bed well or if they get out of bed the toy will be put away for the whole day.
3. Make a bed time chart. Each night the kids go to bed well, they put a sticker on a chart. After so many stickers they earn a reward of their (or your) choosing. Depending on how many stickers they are earning, the prize can be bigger or smaller.
4. Let them earn activities like park time, blowing bubbles outside, swim time or something they like. I’m always surprised at how simple some of the rewards my kids want to earn.
Parenting is hard, let alone on limited sleep. I hope some of these tricks can help you get a little more shut eye or even a few minutes to yourself. Let us know some of your favorite tricks for bedtime!