My preschool boys, ages 3 and 5, seem
to get more wound up as the night goes on. How can I make a
routine that will help them unwind before bedtime?
Establish a regular bedtime, although allow for flexibility. Make children's bedrooms a warm and welcoming place where they are surrounded by their favorite things and feel comfortable and secure.
Try to make the last hour or so before bedtime quiet and relaxing. Help kids take baths, brush teeth, and put on pajamas, and do small rituals such as kissing all of the stuffed animals goodnight. Reading books or quietly talking about the day are good activities to help children unwind and feel ready to go to sleep.
Beware that children may learn to turn simple rituals
into long and involved ones, with endless glasses of waters,
snacks, trips to the bathroom, extra stories, and countless
questions, all requested in order to stall for time. Be firm
and clear while keeping routines simple.
Source: ParentLink, 4-H/Youth Development, University of Missouri-Columbia
Last update: Wednesday, May 13, 2009