Friday, February 20, 2009

Bed Time - What if they won't go?

When bed time becomes a battle for control, it's time to use thge Love and Logic skill of "offering choices." Renmber to make sure that you are happy with whatever decision they make because you provided options you can live with. Here are some options you might try:
  1. Getting ready: Your child is watching there last television show before bed and it's almost over. Say, "Hey it's almost time for bed. Do you want a snack now or would you like to wait until your shows over.)
  2. Snack time: Would you like a snack or no snack? Would you like chocolate milk or white? Do you want an apple with peanut butter or just plain? (You get the idea)
  3. Tooth brushing: Would you like to brush your teeth in my bathroom or the hall bath? Do you want to stand on a stool or not use a stool? Do you want to use the striped toothpaste or the plain? Hot water or cold water?
  4. To the room: Do you want a pony ride to your room or over my shoulders like a sack of potatoes? Do you want to wear the red pajamas or the blue ones? Do you want to read the Spot book or the Bible story?
  5. Lights out: Should we say a memorized prayer or use our own words? Do you want the lights out before or after prayer time? Do you want the covers up or covers down? Nightlight on or nightlight off? A glass of water by your bed or a bottle of water?
  6. Taking Leave: Do you want a kiss or a hug or both? Do you want your stuffed animal in your arms or by your head? Do you want the door open or the door shut?

So what if after all this, they still call you back to the room? Try saying firmly with the assumption of compliance, " Oh Man! (lead with empathy) I gave you lots of choices tonight. But this one is mine. It's time to go to sleep all by yourself now."


  1. Help!!! Our 3 year old son will NOT stay in bed at bedtime. Getting him there is easy, but then we spend the next hour or two marching him back to his room...any suggestions???

  2. Not sure I am understanding Love and Logic does not agree with BEDTIME" - They refer to quite time -

    As being a mother for 14 years + lots of years of rasing children.... I don't really agree with this .... confused....

  3. Love and Logic just suggests that you can't make a child fall asleep on command. You can however create some boundaries and provide consequences for ignoring them. (This is a great time for the "Energy drain"technique. Camp counselors used to call this FOB lights out. (Flat on back.) Another option is to wait until they want to go somewhere and explain you are tooo tired from taking them back to their room every night. Then don't go. Let empathy and consequences do the teaching.

  4. I am switching posts with my sitter who stays home with the girls while I teach. Being home now they are testing the boundaries. I am looking for helpful hints to deal with a 5 yr. old and twin 3 year olds.
    looking forard to the class, what a great idea to tie in something for the parents. LOVE IT


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