Let’s face it, being a parent is rewarding.

However, there can be times that our kids really test our patience. Homework time, clean up time and quiet time are just some of the moments that our patience are tested. In order to make these challenging moments more bearable and successful I recommend adding rules (that will hopefully be followed) to help structure those episodes. One thing that many parents seem to struggle with is setting up a bedtime routine.

Here are some tips that will help you to overcome this situation:

1. Set up a Time- The most difficult decision to make is setting up a bedtime. You can do this according to the age of the child. Remember that it is important that they get at least 10 hours of sleep per day. This will give your child’s body and mind a chance to recuperate and get itself ready for a brand new day. Common bedtimes for children who are 5 years of age and under is usually around 7 to 7.30 pm. Those that fall under the 6 to 10 age bracket, their bedtimes are anywhere from 8 to 9 pm. During vacations, things tend to get off kilter. Try your best to stick with normal day bedtime as often as possible.

2. Have a Calm Time- Setting up a relaxing activity just before bedtime will help your child prepare for sleep. This can be a relaxing bath, story time, or even discuss some important aspect of your child’s day. Praise them in what they achieved for that day as this will comfort them and help them to go to sleep with a positive attitude. In our home we read and pray with the children before lights out.

3. Use a Nightlight- If you happen to have small children, installing a night light in their bedroom will help them to feel safe and secure. Young children often feel frightened by shadows on the wall and movements outside of their bedroom doors. Turning on a night light before they go to sleep will help to dissipate these fears. We also use a white noise maker. This sound helps soothe them to sleep.

4. Cuddle Them- Make sure to give your kids a cuddle and a kiss before they go to bed. This will help to create a bond with them, and this affectionate routine will be something that they will come to look forward to.

By following the above tips, you will easily be able to set up a bedtime routine for your child no matter their age. Once you have a bedtime schedule in place, stick to it. Your child will wake up in the morning, refreshed and ready to start a brand new day.