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Can I ask about getting your children to sleep?

(6 Posts)
KitKat84 Tue 20-Sep-11 21:01:34

DS is 5 and just started year 1. I think he is struggling a bit - he isn't one for sitting and concentrating. he does get very involved but then has a melt down if he has to stop the activity for one reason or another. This happens at home before bed. he is given a 10 minute warning and then a 5 minute one, then we go upstairs to read stories and I settle him into bed. Only he flips out when he gets his warnings and then when it comes to going upstairs for stories he has a meltdown. He is worse when he is tired. He gets totally overwhelmed and can't switch off.
So...

How do you prepare your children for bed?
If you have more than one child, do you stagger their bedtimes (I have a nearly 9 year old DD who doesn't need as much sleep but DS goes mad if DD is allowed to stay up and read)?
How do you cope with bedtime meltdowns?
Should I give 10 and then 5 minute warnings or is this exacerbating the issue?
How can I get him into bed and sleep at a decent hour so he isn't shattered the next day and the cycle continues?

Once he is asleep he tends to be fine until 2/3/4am when he comes into my bed. I often don't even hear him getting into bed so reliably getting out of bed and putting him in his own one would be a bit hit and miss.
Should I try and break the habit of him getting into my bed? or should I concentrate on calmer more efficient bedtimes?

Help ... really can't go through another bedtime meltdown like I did tonight. (I'm a single parent so cannot get someone else to help btw!)

thisisyesterday Tue 20-Sep-11 21:07:25

what does he normally do before bed? i have limited computer/tv etc because it winds ds1 right up and he too hates changing activity. so we tend to try not to let him do anything with a screen or anything he has to keep thinking aboiut after it's stopped.

i think the warnings are still a good idea, but you could also try a visual timetable? some kids respond well to those.. just a piece of paper with pics on of what will happen next
so first pic will be eating dinner, next pic will be playing, next pic bath, then stories then bed.
you can point out each picture and what will be happening after it, and point iut out again when you give the warnings

you could also try asking him things that might help? so we might say to ds1 "what do you need to do before we go and have your story?" or "do you need to take a toy up to bed tonihgt?" or whatever... something to distract from the fact that you are stopping and changing activity

KitKat84 Tue 20-Sep-11 21:14:39

It depends largely on whether he has had an after school activity. 2 days a week any routine before getting into bed is a washout due to activities. I don't have the TV on in the evenings. After dinner he sometimes has a bath and then he gets dried and into his nightstuff. He then either reads to me or plays with his toys but then gets really involved in his game. The visual timetable might be worth a try but on the nights he is back late, it'll be 'wrong' and I'm not sure DS can cope with that when he is tired. I suppose i could do a different one for those nights... I tried the distraction techniques and it made him worse. Definitely will try the visual chart though.

MurunBuchstansangur Tue 20-Sep-11 21:57:55

we don't do playing after bath. it's stories and bed.

No 'playing after tea really. Just tidying and getting ready for bed.

I'd say if he is flipping out then he needs to be going to bed earlier, so start the whole process earlier.

Do they share a room? How does he know what she is doing?

MurunBuchstansangur Tue 20-Sep-11 21:58:39

what time does he go up? And what time do you start the process?

KitKat84 Tue 20-Sep-11 22:13:44

On a normal day dinner is at 5.30, straight in the bath afterwards - normally out by 6:15, then he can play or he reads to me etc ... Then at 7pm we go up and read stories, settling him down by 7:30. They don't share a room but they are often out of their rooms a couple of times with excuses or just to see what the other one is doing....and he can see her bedroom light on. Some nights he isn't home til about 7pm though (has his dinner before he goes out to various clubs)

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