Dotty Duvets! – a practical solution for bad behaviour at bedtime
This is a new entry into my bedtime repertoire but has already had the most mileage. It would work well as your first bedtime activity, as it trains them up with the key elements of bedtime. It changes the emphasis and could even help reduce and eliminate aggressive behaviour at bedtime.
I had been trying to think of a way to use my little sticky dots (available from most stationary departments / shops) for quite a while. Oh and I’ve been struggling with bedtimes for….how old is the eldest??
Anyways these two themes finally merged and created my favourite bedtime hack to date. Favourite since “Bedtime Bags” anyway. If you’re doing my little trail of bedtime activities you are on number 4. If you’re not but want to CLICK HERE!
The Plan – to reduce bad behaviour at bedtime!
Kids live in the moment. Or maybe that’s just mine? They need instant rewards. Bad behaviour at bedtime needs to be swapped for something else. Like straight away.
Basically they get a dot for no fuss action on each bedtime task*, for us bedtime tasks are….
- The trip upstairs
- Finding PJs and getting changed
- Brushing teeth
- Getting in / out of the bath or washing face etc
- The trip to the loo
- Choosing books / chill out activities
Each dot equals five minutes chill out on the bed once they’re COMPLETELY ready. Chill out time for extra storires, writing or drawing worked best, but we have included the odd quiet game like top trumps (more risky territory though!). We saw a massive reduction in bad behaviour at bedtime – on the second dotty duvet night when they had gotten the hang of it, there wasn’t any. Like I said above this didn’t last forever. But if it works once its worth it in my book!
I try and talk about KINDNESS as much as possible, so there is a five minute bonus if kindness is shown throughout. This includes no winding up with “I’m winning” .
*We’ve flagged to the boys that this means no faffing about getting the bedtime tasks started (but that it doesn’t mean rushing trips to loos, brushing teeth super fast and just dipping in baths etc).
OH was very unsure about each dot being worth five minutes of quiet activity / chill time but I really wanted it to feel like a significant “prize” so I just try and sneak them up earlier. NOBODY is allowed to teach them how to tell the time.
It has been sold to them as a swap of nagging for time to spend as they choose, and they have been loving it. We’ve let them read, write, chat and play top trumps.
After the 35 minutes is up (they’ve earned all their dots so far!) they have a last trip to the loo and the opportunity to change all their dots into smiley faces. “Isn’t it lovely when we are all happy.”
“But that really is a long time”
I know! Trust me! Half the battle with bedtime with little people is about them being sad that the day is over.
This is one final thing to look forward to, a carrot to dangle and they’ve been so fast getting ready that there has still been a net gain. I’ve said it before but I honestly had no idea that my boys could find and put on PJs in under 45 seconds! If it really seems to long, obviously you can state whatever time you fancy per dot.
I’m conscious that this may not last forever….oh come on, it won’t last forever. (UPDATE – it doesn’t ).
While routines often stay the same or similar, the way we dress them up can change but sooner or later things get tired! I’ll be forever grateful to “Dotty Duvets” as it got us out of a moany rut that we’d been in for AGES. And they will be back (perhaps even fabric felty ones!) but things need mixing up….bad behaviour at bedtime will no doubt keep sneaking back in!
Please signpost any ideas for bedtimes below or come and find me @particleparenting on Instagram. I’m trying to collect a bank of a few activities that I can rotate them around and forever live the dream….once littlest drops her daytime nap that is….
Why not sign up to follow me via email so that I can keep you to date with posts. I promise not to send you too many!
PS They love looking at all the smiles. So do I . It was the two year old that defaced her’s btw!
PPS There have been two more activities since these dotty duvets…..if you like cute things hit the button below for number 5!
Look how good we’ve been![/caption]