I’ve 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 collecting bedtime hacks for….how old is the eldest?? 😜
Last Friday, these two themes finally merged and created my favourite bedtime hack to date. Favourite since “Bedtime Bags” anyway.
Kids live in the moment. Or maybe that’s just mine? They need instant rewards.
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.
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 chill out time on the bed.
It’s been sold to them as a swap of nagging for chill out, and they have been loving it.
We’ve let them read, write, chat and play top trumps. No devices have been allowed except for a couple of pictures off Daddy’s phone.
After the 35 minutes is up (they’ve earned all their dots so far!) they have a last trip to the loo and to change all their dots into smiley faces.
“But that adds up to a long time”
I know! I wanted it to feel like a worthwhile amount of time. Half the battle with bedtime in our house 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 (for us!). I honestly had no idea that my boys could find and put on PJs in under 45 seconds!
I’m conscious this may not last forever….oh come on, it won’t last forever. While routines often stay the same or similar, the way we dress them up can change but sooner or later things get tired again.
I’m chuffed though as we had been in a moany rut for AGES.
Please signpost any ideas for bedtime below or come and find me @particleparenting on Instagram. I’m figuring if I make a bank of a few activities I can rotate them around and forever live the dream….once littlest drops her daytime nap that is….
Or if you want to stick around for a bit, maybe hop and take a look at a Happy Chatty Talking Activity or the more nosey “Today’s Post” activity, both of which can also be used to help settle at bedtime. Whilst finding out even more out about their days.
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They love looking at all the smiles. So do I ❤️💙🧡💚. It was the two year old that defaced her’s btw!
May speedy, happy bedtimes be with you all tonight.