Bedtime can be a stressful time of the evening, for the whole family with young ones being tired, throwing tantrums better known as a night time meltdown. But it doesn’t have to be that way, all you need is a routine for the kids to learn.
Designate times: Find a time in the late afternoon/evening that suits you to, bath the children, start cooking dinner and put the kids to bed. Ensure that you stick to these times on a daily basis. Understandably weekends may differ, but stick to the same routine. Parents and children will find the evenings easier to manage when you know what’s expected next.
When my children were younger I started the bathing process around 4.30pm, start cooking dinner 5.00-5.15pm and they were in bed 6.30pm. Now they are older our routine has changed to:
3.30pm – Homework
4.00pm - playtime
5.15pm – Bath (they can bath themselves while I cook dinner)
5.20pm – Start cooking dinner
6.30pm – start the bedtime routine
7.00pm – lights out
Allow the kids to help: 10 min before dinner is ready I call the kids to the table. They each have an allocated job DS gets the drinks ready, DD#1 sets the table and the little one DD#2 puts the salt and pepper shakers on the table. They love the responsibility of helping prepare for dinner. Perhaps ask them to get the plates out ready or take it that one step further and see if they will unpack the dishwasher for youNah, that might be pushing it!! My kids enjoy unpacking the dishwasher (crazy children)!!
Within a month of starting your new routine the children will begin to move from one task to the other quite easily. Soon it will become predictable for them, they will learn that once dinner is complete they need to start their bedtime routine.
Try implementing a routine to suit your family, let me know how you go!
featured image credit