How to Reduce Bedtime Tantrums1

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Ease your child into the idea of going to bed.,
Give your child a snack.,
Talk to your child.,
Pay more attention to your child.,
Provide your child with greater freedom.,
Be a good role model.,
Take your child to a psychologist.

Instead of abruptly saying, “Time for bed,” let your child know about 15 minutes before bedtime that they need to go to bed soon. You might say, for instance, “Honey, 15 minutes until bedtime.” This will give your child time to adjust to the idea of going to bed and reduce the likelihood that your child will outright refuse., If your child is overtired, they might be placated by administering a snack. Don’t provide a large meal to your child before bed or they might gain an energy boost that will keep them up all night. But a small snack like a few apple slices and a small cup of milk or juice can make your child enjoy bedtime and reduce their likelihood of bedtime tantrums.Don’t let others convince you that giving your child a snack is “bribing” them to reduce their bedtime tantrum frequency. In reality, it’s merely treating your child as a child, and finding a win-win scenario for the both of you., Your child might throw bedtime tantrums because they don’t have the emotional self-knowledge to communicate what they’re feeling. Help your child stay in touch with their emotions and improve their communication skills by talking with them about bedtime tantrums in terms they understand.For instance, you might say to your child, “I’ve noticed you often throw tantrums at bedtime. Do you like bedtime?” If they answer that they do not, ask a follow-up question like, “Why not?”
Listen carefully to their answers and try to find a solution based on your conversation.
For instance, if your child doesn’t like bedtime because they have to sleep in the dark, provide your child with a nightlight.

, Bedtime tantrums are often caused by feelings that the parent does not pay enough attention to them. In order to reduce your child’s bedtime tantrums, you should move to make your child feel more appreciated and loved. For instance, you could:tell your child you love them
read your child a book at bedtimeplay a game with your child before bedtime
praise positive behavior like sitting down at dinner time and cleaning up when asked

, Some bedtime tantrums are inspired by years of going to bed at the same time. If your child is growing up and wants to stay up a bit later to read a book or study for a test the next day, allow them to do so.One thing you should not allow before bedtime is screen time. Viewing a phone, tablet, computer screen, or TV screen can disrupt the signals that tell you it’s time to sleep, meaning that you – or your child, in this case – will spend longer trying to get to sleep after putting your head to the pillow. Disallow these devices within the hour before your child’s bedtime.You should still set limits for your child, even if you extend your bedtime. For instance, you might say, “I’ll let you stay up 30 minutes longer, but no more than that, okay?”

, If your child sees that you respond to stress and disappointment in a positive, healthy way, they are less likely to throw tantrums at bedtime (or any other time). Don’t yell at your child or others, don’t throw things, and speak kindly to and about others.If you have trouble controlling your temper, consider talking to a trained therapist. A therapist can help you determine why you have a poor temper and help you find ways to change your behavior.

, If, despite your best efforts at reducing tantrums, you haven’t been able to do so, you should consider taking your child to a therapist. Getting your child to talk to a child psychologist is especially important if your child’s bedtime tantrums involve violence, including incidents like your child holding their breath until they faint. The child psychologist will help you identify what the issue is and provide solutions for the bedtime tantrums.

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