Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Bedtime Strategies #4

Got older kids who are way too sleepy during the day?

Love and Logic teaches a problem solving strategy that might help. Here are the steps. The assumption I am making here is that bedtime challenges at night often make rough mornings the next day. Remember to find a time when everyone is happy to use these. (Not in the midst of battle)


  1. Lead with sincere empathy - "I feel so sad that it is hard for you to get up in the morning." and consider following with a simple and non judgmental anecdotal phrase or "I Noticed" statement that identifies the issue.

*"I noticed that it you have a hard time waking up in the morning?"

* "The teacher called and said you've been falling asleep in school."

2. Ask the child, "What do you think you are going to do about this?"

3. They may come up with some solutions to try but if they don't be prepared to ask "Would you like to know what some other kids have tried?"

4. Be ready if they say yes...with at least 3 options. Give your worst option first but make sure all of them are choices you could live with. (Some kids have their parents set their schedule. Some kids try going to bed earlier. Some kids eat breakfast to give them extra energy.) If they say no? Well, you have the option of establishing consequences in other ways. One option would be for you to limit weekend activities so they can "catch up on rest" and you don't have to get any more calls from the school. (See #5 below)

5. Allow them to learn from happy or sad consequences they choose (without warnings, threats, or explanations). I know - that is so hard! (One parent with a night owl gamer arranged for there child to come home one day and discover that all electronics has been removed from their room saying, "I just can't sleep well worrying at night that you are not getting your rest.")

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