Well, if you're tired of fighting with your kids about bedtime, here's how to get everybody off to sleep - without tears and tantrums! First, know this - The surprising reason a lot of kids get cranky at bedtime is because they have trouble falling asleep. So follow these tips from child psychologist Dr. John D. Walters:
- Create a TV-free time zone. That goes for video games and computer surfing too. Research has found that the light and energy the screens emit can stimulate the nervous system - making it hard for kids and adults to fall asleep. So shut off the TV and computer at least an hour before bedtime.
- Then, start a ritual right before bedtime. Just before you turn off the lights, sit on the edge of your child's bed and take a few deep, calming breaths together. It'll help him switch from wake mode to sleep mode. Why? Because kids love rituals. They provide an unconscious signal of what should happen next. So if you do the same thing every night, your kid knows what to expect and they won't fight it.
- Put a drop of jasmine oil on your child's nightlight. Studies show that the scent of jasmine triggers the release of the calming brain chemical serotonin. Your kids will be in the land of nod twice as fast.