Bedtime Blues

by Julie Fletcher

Each night it my children seem to get worked up right before bedtime. I am not sure if this is a last burst of energy, a futile effort to stay up with Mommy and Daddy, or just something that nature designed to test the patience of parents.

A few months ago I had struggled to keep the my three year old asleep at night. She and her sister did not want to go to sleep, but eventually tiredness would win out. The problem was that my littlest girl (Terisa) would wake up at nearly the same time each night. In an effort to keep her sleeping soundly, we moved the girl’s small toddler beds out of the room and gave them a full sized bed to share. With the comfort of being near her older sister, Terisa almost immediately began sleeping without many episodes of waking.

Still, the trouble of having them both fall asleep at a proper time persisted. Amber, my older child, would usually fall asleep before Terisa. Introducing music helped a little with Terisa…but they were still very worked up when we reached their bedroom. I have a routine, so the relaxation was in place and has been for at least two years.

Last night, I think I hit a winning solution. This may not work for some children, but for mine it was a godsend. I just posted about the Secrets Of Happily Married Women book and how it has helped my marriage. Perhaps, just perhaps those tools would work with my children! I know their nature. Part of this nature is being worked up right before bed, so I decided to just let them do their normal jump on the bed deal last night.

They ran to their room and started their bouncing. This time, I surprised them by grabbing my book, leaning against the wall and saying, “Ok guys. You can jump on the bed until I am done reading. When Mommy is finished, it is bedtime.?

Wow! They were so happy they very nearly bumped the ceiling with their little heads. Mommy was letting them jump to their heart’s content. When I had nearly finished the chapter I was on, they had already slowed down and were yawning. Amber, the oldest, has sensory issues, so the bouncing actually helps her body calm down. Terisa just follows suit.

We put their giant stuffed bunnies to bed, complete with baby blankets, then the girls got under their own blankets. It did not take long for their classical CD to lull them to sleep. A half hour or so of good fun instead of crying.

I am a happy mom today.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 29th, 2008 at 9:00 am and is filed under Uncategorized, Parenting, Activities. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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