sleeping: most important

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Always put a positive spin on sleep—we know how much we like it, and our kids can like it too.  Bedtime can be (and I think we could all agree, should be) a great end to the day.

Don't be afraid of early bedtimes!  Research seems to strongly indicate that most children benefit from a regular, early bedtime.

But wait,  my 4 year old child is going to sleep so late and knows his bedtime!  What do I do now?

Remember, you can always change habits.  You can always remove clocks or change them if it comes to that-- well rested children seem to be happier and have fewer behavioral problems, especially in school.

Since betime for kids 4 and under can match up with wakeup time, you can use that as a reference with them, most older (but still 6 and under) kids need 11 hours or so at night, so if they always wake up at 6:00am, 7:00pm can be bedtime.

Look at your bedtime routine-- dinner followed by bath, then a story or straight to bed can just be moved earlier.  If you don't have a routine, whatever it was you were doing try to shift it earlier.  Leave the park earlier, skip the restaurant dinner, whatever feels right to you.

What changes:  out of the house pre-bed activities-- work schedules have pushed many bedtimes later.  Many people regularly go to dinner en famille-- this is a new cultural shift-- most families ate at home, or the kids ate at home, and early, until some time in the 1980s.  Many people talk to me about how hard things can be at the end of the day-- it seems to me that most of those kids are probably overtired, which can be harder to recognize in older kids because they seem excited and alert. 




A well rested child is usually better behaved. Is your child having tantrums? If so, read more here.


 

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