DS (7) - coping strategies? Esp bedtime(7 Posts)
Something needs to give....
DS (7) is such a challenge at bedtime. Does anyone have any thoughts/strategies pls?
Our 'routine' has to flex a little depending on when we finish work (I work 4 days, DH 5 days). We tend to start the
struggle move up to bed about 7.40. He delays getting out of his clothes - faffing/running about etc. The shower eventually starts, where he mainly showers himself.
Once finished there is more 'messing about' which is really frustrating. He eventually gets dressed into his PJs, cleans his teeth & dries his hair - but this bit can take 30 mins.
We want him to faff less and to get in bed sooner.
We have tried taking away screen time in the following morning, but it almost seems worse as he then gets upset about the loss and instead of improving his behaviour he gets worse/doesn't care.
We have taken away his bedtime story in response to his behaviour, but I hate the idea of him going to be upset and it doesn't see to result in better behaviour at the time or longer term.
DH and I are tired and want him to get into bed. But actually we have 30/45mins of frustration.
We have DD (2) who we generally put down about 7/7.15.
So I am trying to think of things we can change:
- A later bedtime. Although DH and I are keen on some 'me' time I am feeling it is a false economy asking him to go to bed when we do. He is still awake in his room at 8.30/9.00. I think he just doesn't need that much sleep - he never yawns suggesting he is tired.
- I also wonder if we should make more a seperation between DD & DS' bedtime. Although he often wants to get involved with her bedtime offering to read to her etc.it might help if is downstairs for a while after her.
- Incentivise heavily with stickers etc. We do still do sticker charts but it only takes one of us to be out/away and we don't do it.
I know improved consistency would help with all of this. We are just so tired all the time - although what parent isn't....
Any helpful & constructive comments welcome.
I keep fantasising about leaving and living in a hotel
Margo, you are probably onto something shifting his bedtime slightly later, my DTS's always played up at bedtime as they grew and needed less sleep. Moving their bedtime by half an hour or thereabouts has tended to resolve it.
Another thought is shifting his shower to the mornings as this may be perking him up a bit?
DD can be like this. I tell her that she can watch a bit of TV if she is in her PJs with her teeth brushed. That means faffing cuts into her TV time.
And I'd move showers to the morning.
My 7 yr old doesn't sleep until 9 and is up bright and cheerful at 7 every morning so I'd say a later bedtime could be the way to go.
As he will probably welcome this why don't you talk to him about how it is because he is older and not a little child and that with that comes taking responsibility for getting ready for and into bed.
Set a final time for your input, eg, you will read a story at 8.45 every night, only if he is ready, he could be getting himself showered and ready by this are but is probably enjoying having your input/ attention.
Actually, I'd start earlier if you can. All that struggling suggests he is already too tired. DD1 is just 8 (yr3) and starting the bedtime routine much later than 7.15 means a rocky ride for us all so usually DD1 and DD2 (yrR) prepare for bed any time after 7. I also agree with DorisLessings about telly - sometimes we tell them to finish all the bedtime stuff early (pj's, teeth, loo) and then they can watch telly whilst we eat.
Ah thank you for your helpful responses.
Have been reluctant to move the shower to the morning. We get him to do 10/15 mins of reading/times tables as he has to patch his eye and
do close up 'work' and it is easier to do when DH and I are both around.
However, it would be a way to remove one of the stresses in the evening. Also I guess long term we want him to shower in the morning too.
Thanks again. It was good to get it out.
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