Children thrive on sleep. If they aren't very pleasant in the morning or simply throughout the day, it could be a number of things including not getting enough sleep the night before. Making sure your children gets enough sleep can be challenging, but is definitely essential to thrive in life.
Create a Bedtime Routine - Creating a bedtime routine for your child is essential if you want your kids to develop properly and act responsibly. Start setting the mood for your child about an hour before you want the child in bed. You may want to start even earlier if it is bath night. Dim the lights, get your child a light snack and maybe a glass of water. Have your son or daughter read a story or do an activity that is quiet and calming. Some families may want to practice yoga right before bed. It is up to you and your family to decide what the bedtime routine is going to be. Make sure it is done at the same time of the night everyday to ensure a proper routine is set.
Watch the Sugar Intake - Kids and sugar simply do not mix. If they have too much sugar too close to bedtime, this is even worse. If you must offer junk food to your children do so many hours before bedtime or better yet, on the weekend. If at all possible, try to offer healthy snacks instead. Your kids will thank you later in life.
Don't Allow Them to Stall- If your child is a pro at stalling for bedtime, make sure you tell him or her to be in bed 15 minutes early. This will give them some time to get their last drink of water, or to use the bathroom one more time or to give mom and dad an extra hug.
Make Sure Their Bed is Only Being Used For Sleeping - Some kids, especially those with a smaller bedroom will use their bed for hanging out on, watching television, doing homework and more. It can be very hard for a child to fall asleep in a bed that is used for all purposes. Create a special place for your child to do these other things. The bed should only be used for sleeping. Homework can be done at a desk and if your kids have a television in their room, a bean bag chair or a gaming chair can be purchased for watching t.v. It is amazing what a difference this change in behavior can make for your child's sleep pattern.
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Make Sure Your Child is Comfortable - Some people prefer firm pillows while other prefer feather pillows. Some people sleep with multiple pillows on their bed and others just want one. It is all up to your child and their comfort level. However, it is important to make sure they are comfortable for bed time. If your child is chilly at night, make sure they have an extra blanket to keep them warm. If the child sleeps better with noise, consider music that is soft and quiet or a fan. A night light may be a good option for children who are afraid of the dark. Be forewarned that children like to be pampered just as much as most adults do. If they keep making ridiculous requests, you know they are just playing around with your head.
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Choose a Reasonable Bedtime - Of course 6:00 is too early for any child to fall asleep, but 10:00 may be too late. In the beginning of the year, see what time works best for your kids. If you have multiple kids, it may be different for each of them however, to make it fair you must set a bedtime that is at about the same time for kids around the same age. You could have the elementary school aged kids go to bed first, followed by the middle schoolers and then the high schoolers. Many kids that are in high school may argue with their parents that they can go to bed when they want, however this isn't the best choice. Many high school kids struggle with school because of the lack of the sleep. It is recommended that children get at least 9 hours of sleep every night. Some kids need more and some can function fine with less. It is up to you as a parent to see how your child behaves during the day with the amount of sleep that they get.