Get Your Kid to Go to Bed - Ground Work

Laying the Groundwork

It’s all about the routine. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be home at the same time every night or even sleep in the same bed every night—but it does mean that wherever you are, whenever it is, the same routine happens (for example, put on pajamas, brush teeth, go to the bathroom, read a story, go to bed). Imagine the bedtime ritual as a train. Your children know that when they get on the train, there is no turning back. Your job is to set up the train and get it out of the station.

Draw your line in the sand early in the night, and stick to it. If you tell him exactly how many books he can read, count them and be sure that he’s set aside the right number. If you tell him that you’re not coming back in to say goodnight again or sing another song, don’t go back, no matter how much he may yell.

Stay one step ahead of your child at all times. Children are brilliant when it comes to thinking of reasons why they can’t go to bed. Preempt their roadblocks. Have water next to the bed. Close the closet door. Put on a night-light. Make sure his teddy bear makes it under the covers.


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