Child refuses to go to bed? Generally bonkers bedtimes??
What to do if a child refuses to go to bed – or gets pretty good at dragging their heels! If you are on my “Bedtime Activities” trail, I really hope that you’ve found a few ideas for calming bedtime activities for you and yours.
This is number five of my Six Bedtime Activities for Children, click HERE if you want to start at the beginning of the trail!
In short, it is a series of activities which are all about making bedtimes calmer, more special, less stressful and of course quicker!
I promise that you will get way more out (both time wise and emotionally) than you put in. You will often GAIN time from these bedtime activities.
And remember we are all in the same boat; I am only writing this as desperation is the true mother of invention! 😂😜.
So, let me introduce nosey Postman Bear!
Our bear was a bit cheeky and hid some of the props needed around the bedroom (I gave my three BIG clues to make sure that no mess was made from hunting!).
But your bear can be a good bear if you like and put everything in his bag.
Our bear sent a letter at the end of teatime, encouraging a speedy bedtime – hopefully to hook in any child that refuses to go to bed..Refusal might not be upfront, it might involve quite sophisticated delaying tactics!
Making them a new little game always feels a bit exciting; hopefully your little bedtime bear friend will put a spring in everyone’s step 🐻❤️☀️
As with a lot of the tasks the idea is that if they get ready speedily enough for (nosey!) Postman Bear’s liking they get to do some tasks from his postbag. These timers are great for speeding them up!
If you’ve done “Dotty Duvet” already you can refer back to the necessary bedtime tasks.
If they’re really shocking at getting ready you can always just do one or two tasks to give them a taste and save the rest…nosey bear can whisper how many to do in your ear so it’s out of your hands 😂
I did a mixture of tasks and questions….
Here are the questions that we used…
And here are the three (paper based) tasks
(These need extra paper and pens.)
Don’t believe the hype
Please remember that you are not alone – however it feels! I repeat this to myself and husband often. Seriously.
You are your children’s safe place; they trust you and they’ve got a lot going on. Add into that a sprinkling of overtiredness and 😳.
But the tiniest bit of planning can bring about BIG results! Whilst I knew this as a teacher it took me a while (years) to take full ownership of planning bedtimes as a grown up. I mean parent!
This task probably involves the most setting up of the six, so perhaps one to save for when you have your bedtime mojo on and feel confident that you’ll get some mileage out of it.
In the past I have tried reward charts and and had some successes; these tasks are all about mixing things up and getting a bit of a repertoire. The variety has really helped.
We did in fact use a quick reward charts last night and they were well up for it – who doesn’t like glittery card and star stickers!
Whatever you opt for, the immediacy of the rewards (time with you) often seems to appeal.
Just to be clear – WE STILL DO HAVE SOME CRAZY BEDTIMES. Sorry. And we don’t manage an activity every night; sometimes we call the teacher hotline, spot Santa out of the window or have a good old moan. Sometimes we even fluke a good one regardless.
We have had bedtimes improve though and seen less of the child who refuses to go to bed! I do feel that we’ve had more of the following….
- self esteem boosts – them and you!
- development of their idea of self
- mental health support
- chance to share worries