We've talked so much on this show about how bad it is to lose sleep. It's even worse for your kids. So here's how to get your kids to conk out.
Start by slowing things down. You may think a session of WWE reenactments will tire little Bobby out before bed. Wrong! It's more like giving him a double espresso. The best way to prepare your kids for sleep is 30 minutes of calm, soothing activity--Like reading. That comes from clinical psychologist Sheila Ribordy from DePaul University.
Another way to get your kids to bed: Stay on schedule. From infants to teenagers, kids perform best when they're on a steady schedule.
Also, unplug. Take the phone, the computer and the TV out of your kid's room. Talking on the phone, playing video games, even instant messaging keeps the mind busy. They can listen to music though. That's a calming activity. Here's another great 'get to sleep' tip: Talk to your kids. Nighttime is when worries surface. Just think how many times you've been lying in bed, worrying instead of sleeping. Your kids do the same thing. So before bed, have a heart to heart with your kids. See if they're worried about anything. Re-assure them.
And here's one final tip from Dr. Ribrody: Bedtime is not up for discussion. If you and your kids debate what time is bedtime, it teaches your kids to argue. No debates, no changes. When the rule is broken, bedtime just got moved up - half an hour earlier.