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It's the stage after lights out, the endless arsing about before they shut up and go to bloody sleep that's the issue.
They do not go anywhere near too early, and they get exercised after school with/like the dog - they are TIRED but they are tired grumpy whingebags who need endless wees and drinks of water and giggling and getting in each others beds and poking and duvets falling off and general pissing about.
4.1 and 5.10 sharing a bedroom. The only answer is a bigger house I think, but I would have to divorce DH and swap him for a richer model for that, and TBH I quite like the old bugger even though he farts a lot.
I don't know the answer off the top of my head (will try to find out for you), but just want to say, as the owner of a seven-year-old, how enthusiastically I embrace the category title 'general small beasts'.
I think it's the section called parenting or behaviour and development, but I'm never too sure.
As for bedtime fuckwittery, Don't send them to early, except you may have to read for ages and don't be afraid let them cry. If all else fails give up.
When faced with a totally wound up non sleeping child giving up and going downstairs for a quite cuddle and a couple of Shaun the Sheeps works wonders.
Advanced boredom works brilliantly on 2-4 yo, but falls down once they can read or get toys out easily.
Advanced boredom is very simple, you may come down stairs, but you are not actually here. You then proceed to ignore them while watching Question time or some other talking heads program with subtitles.
over wrought, wound up child calms down and decides they are tired remarkably quickly
Yes, I've noticed this big gap too! I know that there is the education info, but equally we do still get to look after our kids when they are not in school so some general gathering of wisdom would be useful...
Our cure for bedtime fuckwittery is to have something they REALLY want to do (or achieve) as the final step before bed, then if they don't play ball they can lose it. eg reading a book together in bed, or 'supper' of milk and biscuit which only happens after they are washed and in PJs.
Another thing that helps (at least it helped our 5yo with morning routine) was a visual timetable - putting what has to happen down on a piece of paper, and getting them to refer to/cross off each step of getting ready. This also helps keep bedtime structured and avoids it being derailed by a child who is very good at derailing things to their own advantage.
Luckily getting our two into bed isn't too difficult at the moment. Getting them to actually stop whittering/singing/fidgeting and go to sleep is another matter...