Mid January I blogged about Mini not going to bed and going to sleep and how it was really affecting our evenings and also making him really tired and grumpy in the morning. We were at a loss, especially as Maxi has always gone to bed like a dream. Well I thought it was time for an update and I am pleased to be able to tell you that our evenings have been transformed.
Mini tonight at 7.15pm
Mini now goes to bed between 7.00pm and 7.30pm and goes to sleep. He has even asked to go to bed and taken himself up at 6.45pm one evening. Even when were were moving his room he still went to bed and sleep in all the mess and chaos.
So how have we done it. Basically it has all been about consistency. We have established strict bedtime routine for both the boys. No screen time after 6pm, by this I mean computers and games consoles. I read somewhere that it takes the brain an hour to wind down after screen time, so I want to encourage this in the boys. We then try and keep to the same routine each evening of dinner, night clothes, books, cuddles, tooth brushing etc and bed (with a bath a couple of times a week).
We downloaded the Relax Kids Wizard Meditations on to am MP3 and he listens to it every night using ETY·Kids5 universal earphones, which he loves. He prefers to listen with the earphones and we have found that he concentrates more of the meditations that way blocking out external noise and influences. Plus we do not have to worry about the earphones being to loud as they have a noise level limiter and they must be comfortable as he has no problem with going to sleep with them in.
Initially we implemented a reward chart for going to bed successfully, but now he knows that it is expected that he goes to bed and that it is reward in itself as he is much less grumpy. Even Cass from Frugal Family has commented that his behavior is much improved in the last two weeks.
More than just making for a happier, well rest little boy, it has really made a big difference to mine and MadDad’s evenings. No more snipping at each other as to who will put Mini back to bed. I no longer have a heavy feeling of anxiousness as bedtime approached. We are a much happier family. I am glad that we preserved over a few hard nights and approached the issue with consistency, a targeted approach and kept together on the same wave length.
I want to thank everyone for their support and suggestions and I am in no way smug, as I am sure we will soon be lurching to another parenting challenge!
Disclosure: We were sent a sample of the Etymotic’s ETY·Kids™ Safe-Listening Earphones