Establishing a bedtime routine: The 5 B's of Bedtime

Raising Hell

Not making your kids hit the sheets at a decent bedtime hour

Raise_girl_bedtimeRaising Them Well

Establishing a bedtime schedule and making them stick to it. If your grade school kids are yucking it up with you while watching late night reruns of Sanford & Son, then you've got a problem. Your kids need adequate sleep for their health and well being.

Here's the sleep time breakdown:

Ages 3 to 6: 10 - 12 hours

7 to 12: 10 - 11 hours

12 to 18: 8 - 9 hours

A refreshed child is a smarter child. When a child is well rested, they think better and do better in school. Ban  the video games, TV watching and yacking endlessly on the cell phone until the wee hours. In fact, collect their phones before bedtime to ensure no undercover chitchats.

Do you have a hard time going to bed yourself? Your kids may be following in your footsteps. I think some parents need to first put themselves on a schedule.  When we lack discipline within ourselves, it's hard to instill it in our kids.

What is a decent bedtime? It depends on the age of a child. Bedtime in my household was 9 p.m.   Keep it realistic. Kids these days got piles of homework and extracurricular activities which can take up a lot of their time.  And it takes up a lot of yours. When they are in bed, you have some time to chill I told my kids I was off duty come 9 p.m.. A routine is important for them and you.

It starts early.  I call my routine the 5 B's of Bedtime:

Bath & Brush: Get clean bod and fresh breath an hour or so before light out, It makes it easier to get ready in the morning. Plus it put's your kids in a relaxed state of mind.

Book: After bath they put on their PJs and choose up to three books to read. As they get older, they read to you or use this time to finish their assigned reading. Don't have books? Check out some from the  library, garage sale, or do the Kindle thing.

Blessings: Time to say their prayers - give thanks, make requests, and bless loved ones. This was our routine.  Every household is different.  Sometimes I sang to my kids. When they grew older, they still wanted me to sing to them. "Close to You"  is a favorite with my sons and grandsons.

Bed: Lights out and go to sleep.

Got stubborn sleepers? I can relate. When my oldest was  a toddler, he was a trip. He flipped a bird on my 5 B's of Bedtime. He needed someone to rub his back and lay next to him every night. he hated to be left alone. He often got out of bed looking for me.

I bought a night light. That didn't work. I locked my door.  My bedroom door didn't shut tight, so I put a sock in between. Dude stacked a bunch a pillows on top of a chair to reach the dang thing to pull it out!  This was crazy. But I read aboI took him to the doctor. His pediatrician suggested a n approach that was very time consuming, but if done consistentlly, very effective. I had to be consistent in leading him right back in bed when he got up. Each time I became more stern than the last. First you tell them nicely, second time you tell them sternly, third, you say nothing and sternly lead them back. Forth time you more sternly lead them back - no talking, pleading, yelling, .No lights on,  lingering, hugging, rocking, drugging, hitting, bribing, You stand your ground until they give in out of exhaustion. Notice - THEY give in, not you - though I know you are dead tired and pissed. Don't let 'em see ya sweat. In a week or so, they will get the message and stay in bed.

Going back to the whole video game/tv watching thing. What you allow, you teach. You allow your kids to spend unlimited time oogling the screen, it will overstimulate  them and make it harder for them to go to sleep. Put the video games away and make them earn play time. Let it be a weekend luxury. And parents, if you tend to get so hooked on the screen, phone or video games yourself that you don't think to follow through with your kids bedtime routine,. This post should come in real handy.

What bedtime routine do your kids follow? Is it hard for you to establish one. Do you think it's necessary?
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    I pursued a satisfying career in the advertising industry, served as a volunteer mentor and parent educator at my two (now grown up) sons' schools and have actually stayed happily married for over a quarter of a century. However, my most gratifying achievement was raising my sons well. I'm not saying there wasn't a little bit of hell raising going on, but you live and learn. Now I'm passing the knowledge on to you. My goal is to turn these nuggets of wisdom into reference books for parents.

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    Check out my other blogs: "Trending Over 40", An informational blog for those over 40 who find themselves social-media challenged, "Black Copy" Reflections of a veteran ad chick, You can find samples of my ad work on this site. Simply click on TV and Print tabs. Also check out my company, Hughes Who Productions We develop games and animation for casinos, marketers and educational institutions. Thank you for your interest. Blessings... Edye
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