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How to beat the bedtime bullsh*t?

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#1 Cherish

Posted 23 December 2012 - 08:20 PM

Sick to death of the kids (mostly Ds1 and DS2 who have to share a room) playing up at bedtime. It can be 1.5 hours after bedtime and they are still playing/fighting/crapping on (drinks/toilet he won't stop talking etc) bedtime is usually 7-7:30. Tonight it was 8:20. DS1 is particularly badly behaved.
I am over it and am finding myself a screaming banshee at bedtime. I am consistent. I accept no excuses and send them back to bed but I am <> this close to losing the effing plot.
How do you deal with bedtimes?
My only other option in to put DS2 in my bed so they are separated. But DS3 needs to sleep in there!!
God I hope we can afford to renovate next year!

#2 Funwith3

Posted 23 December 2012 - 08:25 PM

I'm hearing you!! We're the same. I've started banning TV the following day. Or taking favorite things away.

ETA- or I threaten to make bedtime earlier the following night if they don't go to sleep. Maybe you could all sit down tomorrow morning and establish some new rules and make it very clear what the punishment will be.

Edited by Funwith3, 23 December 2012 - 08:29 PM.

#3 Harmonica

Posted 23 December 2012 - 08:27 PM

If you don't already then I would stagger the bedtime, the younger DS should go to bed 1/2 hour earlier then the older one.

#4 Lyra

Posted 23 December 2012 - 08:31 PM

QUOTE (Riley'smum @ 23/12/2012, 09:27 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If you don't already then I would stagger the bedtime, the younger DS should go to bed 1/2 hour earlier then the older one.

I totally agree with this! I also figure that if I am fighting for 20 - 30  mins to get my daughter to stay in bed that perhaps she's not tired yet and make bedtime a bit later. I would rather she spent that 20 mins or so in her bed quietly reading rather than up every 25 seconds bugging me for something or calling out from her bedroom and then waking her brother

#5 EsmeLennox

Posted 23 December 2012 - 08:32 PM

It's tough. I found repeatedly putting them to bed with no communication would work with one alone. With two together, I would start removing favourite toys/privileges. But you *have* to follow through. Don't make idle threats. I would tell them what you are going to do, and then every time they get up or whatever, I would remove a toy and show them, say nothing, just do it. I sometimes think the more you talk, yell, shout etc the worse they are!

Another thing that has worked well in our house (for all manner of things) is 'the ladder of impending doom'. Every time they muck up, that's 15 minutes off bedtime the following night. One of mine went to bed at 4.30 in the afternoon when we first started using it, but he only did it once!

Good luck!

Edited by Jemstar, 23 December 2012 - 08:33 PM.

#6 Just-one-more

Posted 23 December 2012 - 08:38 PM

I'd put them to bed at different times.  8pm is still a fine bedtime for a 6 yo.

#7 DylJayBen's Mum

Posted 23 December 2012 - 08:42 PM

I agree with PP, my DS2(6) is a shocker with bed time. I read a great book by Nigel Latta and he said when children are misbehaving to make it their problem not yours so to speak. Now when DS2 gets out of bed I knock 5 minutes off the next nights bed time for every time he gets up, I also use it for if he is naughty during the day. It took awhile to work but now that he knows I will follow it through it is working a treat.

Good luck with it wink.gif

#8 *Caro*

Posted 23 December 2012 - 09:02 PM

Maybe stop stressing about it? I used to be like you, screaming and threatening and getting worked up, till I worked out that it wasn't really helping anyone, least of all me.  We have a 2yo and 4yo sharing, and a 6yo and an 8yo sharing.  Some nights are pretty bad, but if it's hot and still light at bedtime, I figure its hard for them to get to sleep.  I let them get a drink of water, remind them calmly to go to sleep and, for the older kids, give some relaxation techniques for them to focus on.  

Now that school has finished for the year, it doesn't really matter if they fall asleep a bit later.

#9 Sweet like a lemon

Posted 23 December 2012 - 09:29 PM

QUOTE (*Caro* @ 23/12/2012, 10:02 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Maybe stop stressing about it? I used to be like you, screaming and threatening and getting worked up, till I worked out that it wasn't really helping anyone, least of all me.  We have a 2yo and 4yo sharing, and a 6yo and an 8yo sharing.  Some nights are pretty bad, but if it's hot and still light at bedtime, I figure its hard for them to get to sleep.  I let them get a drink of water, remind them calmly to go to sleep and, for the older kids, give some relaxation techniques for them to focus on.  

Now that school has finished for the year, it doesn't really matter if they fall asleep a bit later.

Agree with this.

#10 libbylu

Posted 23 December 2012 - 09:55 PM

I would say it's pretty important to get your 3yo in and asleep, so I would send them in first and let your older DS stay up for half an hour/45 mins for silent reading on the couch until the younger one is asleep.  Most 3 year olds really need to get a good nights sleep or they are feral the next day, and 6 year olds should be doing some reading each night, so it could work out really well.

#11 JillyJellyBean

Posted 23 December 2012 - 10:00 PM

We turn the TV off 2 hours before bedtime to tone down the evening and allow DS brain to wind down. Thankfully this has helped us. Still its a drama sporadically.

#12 ms flib

Posted 23 December 2012 - 10:01 PM

Our 6 year old goes to bed at 8pm and her 8 year old sister at 8.30pm. They always get bedtime stories read to them. My 6 year old used to be a nightmare to get to sleep but she sleeps like a log now.

All the best. You've got a lot on your plate so do what works for you.

#13 Kay1

Posted 23 December 2012 - 10:04 PM

DS1 and 2 are 7 and 4 now. They started sharing a room when they were 3 and 6. We have always used bedtime cds at bed time. So we'd have cuddles/books etc then lights out and story cd on, we leave the room. When they moved into the same room they had to share a cd player so they take turns choosing a cd. They go to bed between 7 and 8 pm. The 4 year old is usually out within 5 minutes of the cd going on and if the 7 year old is not feeling tired yet he is is allowed to read for a while with his lamp on. Sometimes he'll change the cd once his brother has fallen asleep to something he likes LOL. The beauty of it for us is it distracts them from talking and because they've listened to the cds 100s of times sleep usually follows pretty quickly.

#14 Funwith3

Posted 23 December 2012 - 10:07 PM

QUOTE (Riley'smum @ 23/12/2012, 09:27 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If you don't already then I would stagger the bedtime, the younger DS should go to bed 1/2 hour earlier then the older one.

Wouldn't this cause more arguments? It would at my house. I would hear the "it's not fair!!!!"

#15 Harmonica

Posted 23 December 2012 - 10:22 PM

My two don't share a bedroom but they've always had a staggered bed time, why shouldn't the older child get to stay up a little later?

Never once been an issue in our house and has allowed us to do reading time in peace with both of them!

#16 Funwith3

Posted 23 December 2012 - 10:28 PM

QUOTE (It'sallgood @ 23/12/2012, 11:24 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I got that the kids in question were 6 and 8 yrs old and the 3 yr old sleeps with parents.

No, I think the kids in question are 6 and 3. The 8 year old is a daughter. The 20 month old son is sleeping in the parents room. I think...??

#17 Feral Madam Mim

Posted 23 December 2012 - 10:54 PM

Well tonight I used "if you don't go straight to sleep I will have to call Santa"

#18 Sweet Chilli Philly

Posted 23 December 2012 - 11:29 PM

My boys go to bed an hour apart and usually DS #2 is in bed at 7pm and asleep by the time DS #1 goes to bed at 8pm.

#19 scoutster

Posted 23 December 2012 - 11:44 PM

No answer from me but a huge sigh of relief that I'm not the only one.  

I have had bedtime nightmares this week-my 4 year old fell asleep at around 10:30 tonight-after 2 hours in bed.  She was upset for a while and then just talked and played.

I'm putting it down to excitement about Christmas.  I'm looking forward to Boxing Day.

#20 IShallWearMidnight

Posted 24 December 2012 - 01:13 AM

im not big on bedtimes, but I do think staggering the times might help.

#21 galba

Posted 24 December 2012 - 01:30 AM

QUOTE (It'sallgood @ 23/12/2012, 10:44 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I agree to stop "insisting " on bedtime and just chill out over it.

In my opinion, 7.30pm, even 8.30pm, on holidays or during weekends, is a very early time to be trying to get active and healthy kids your age to bed.

we are some of the lucky ones who don't have drama's at bedtime and never have.

But we've never forced our kids to go to bed either. We have never made drama out of it and we have always stuck to a series of events (if you want to call it a routine, you can, but it's more just a regular series of events that have always been followed pretty much)

We have dinner, we have a bit of time to chill out. There is no rough play and decreased noise overall in the house at this time. A lot of the time, TV is off and we parents are reading or spending time on the net or just quietly doing something, so the kids have been in that environmental mindset.

Then they have a bath. Usually I say "hey girls, it's 7.30, time to think about a bath??" and leave it up to them...these days, they generally know when 7 to 7.30pm is and if they don't start it themselves, they are okay togo with the reminder adn cue.

They love to watch certain shows etc which end at 7.30pm, so that's a good cue anyway. They aren't allowed to watch anything too stimuating and definately NOTHING like computer games or such...

Then they have a bath (or shower) I let them stay as long as they like.  They play, they relax...wahtever. Then they do their teeth and 90% of the time, it's straight to bed then. Sometimes they are too tired for a story, mostly we do have a story. But again, nothing too stimulating or "exciting' we do calm and "nice" stories.

We talk about any concerns they might have that haven't already been addressed before then...then it's goodnight and light goes out and they go to sleep.

WE've pretty much followed an age appropriate version of that since birth with both kids.

but IF they aren't tired, esp with the older one, she isnt' forced to go to bed if she doesn't want to and isn't tired. She is allowed to read with us, cuddle on couch or lie quietly in the bed beside me whilst i read or "work"  wink.gif (sshhhhh..don't tell!!) on the computer.

Basically, in this house, ALL loud, boisterous and "rev up" activity stops at dinner time. Always has. Hb and I would rather record shows and watch later if needbe, then have the kids trying to watch an "adult" rated show with us or being kept awake with noise.

During school time, bedtime is now around 8 - 9pm (kids are going on 7 and 8 yrs, just finished grade 1 and 2) and during holidays and weekends? We don't have any actual bedtime. They go when they are tired. But like tonight, it's usually around 8-9pm anyway. It's enver an issue.

Good luck,

I could have written this post - I have 4 kids and this is what happens in our house except DS10 seems to have an automatic switch at 8.45pm and will stand up and announce he is off to bed.

#22 Cherish

Posted 24 December 2012 - 05:12 AM

Thanks for the suggestions.
Perhaps I am being unreasonable?
Bed times are generally that early because
-kids are usually up around 6
- no day sleeps
-very busy during the day
- I'm over be whining/fighting at that hour

The 6 and 8 year old really can't share a room. Part of his personality is to be super annoying and it would cause all sorts of conflict. Ideally he needs his own room.
I am for relaxed bedtimes during the holidays... But (I'm probably being childish too....!) I don't see why they should stay up til 9 or 10pm when ideally that is the only time my husband and I get together!
I have tried a later bedtime and earlier bedtimes (as punishment)  say 8pm and 630pm. They both result in an hour or more of screwing around.
The 6 year old in particular needs more sleep than say the 3 year old cos he gets up earlier and absolutely runs me ragged....!
The 8 year old isn't really an issue in that I just send her back to her room..
Thanks for the suggestions!

#23 Super Cat

Posted 24 December 2012 - 06:51 AM

I don't agree at all with letting kids choose their own bedtimes. I think the time you're sending them to bed is perfectly reasonable but I would probably add a half hour on to the 6 year olds bed time and send the younger one in half an hour earlier.

Routine is important. Ours have dinner, bath then bed. We have no fussing or mucking around at all during bed time. I think they actually like the whole routine. DH always reads them a story each then has a chat to them about their day. They drift off to sleep not long after. Their younger sibling goes to bed after them and they've never argued or made a fuss about it.

Maybe see if DH can take over the bed time routine and discipline for misbehaviour? I think a wind down period is very important which is where we find the stories and daily chat useful. If the older one goes in and wakes the little one, tell him (older) that the next night he'll be in bed first and his little brother won't have to go to bed until he's asleep!

Lastly, if the older one seems to have trouble falling asleep maybe look into a possible medical cause. My youngest needs melatonin to sleep or he's up till around 11pm every night.

#24 Freddie'sMum

Posted 24 December 2012 - 07:04 AM

Just to be clear OP - are the 3-and-a-half year old and 6 year old sharing a bedroom.

If that's the case - I would have the 3-and-a-half year old in bed around 6pm (esp if he hasn't had a daynap) and the 6-year-old in bed at 7pm.

We have 2 x girls - Miss-7-and-a-half and Miss-5.  I aim for a bedtime of 7.30pm.  They are both usually asleep within the next half hour.  

I totally disagree that little kids should be up to 9pm / 9.30pm.  It's far too late for them and it's sure as eggs, too damn late for us as the parents.

#25 Sweet like a lemon

Posted 24 December 2012 - 07:43 AM

I don't think it's reasonable to punish someone for not being able to fall asleep. We have a very set routine which normally works a charm but when it's hot and sticky or Miss is uber excited about something, screaming and threatening and punishing her is not going to invoke better sleep habits; it's only going to stress us all out in a big way. If they are thirsty or need to loo then it's pretty mean to get upset with them.
I also agree with the PPs advocating staggered bedtimes.

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