I’m Not Sleepy

A bedtime battle is the last thing you need after a long day.

Be kind to yourself and your kids by making bedtime something to look forward to.

The Possible Dream:
Establishing a bedtime routine may feel like the ultimate challenge, though the time and energy you invest will be worth it! Your child will be happier and you’ll get that much needed time to yourself at the end of the day.

Wind Down:
As bedtime approaches, encourage quiet activities such as reading, homework, or working on a project to ease the transition. Save foods with a stimulating effect such as colas, sweets, and chocolate for earlier in the day.

Time For Bed!:
Nobody likes to stop in the middle of something, so it’s a good idea to prepare your child be saying: “Bedtime will be in 15 minutes.” Give some thought to when you want your child in bed so you can avoid hassles, like picking a time in the middle of your child’s favorite TV show.

Snooze Attitude:
Make bedtime nice for your child. Even 15 minutes to read stories, talk about the events of the day, sing songs, rub your child’s back, etc. will do wonders to help your child develop a super “snooze attitude.”

Missing ZZZ’s:
You’ve done the deluxe bedtime routine and your child is wide awake and wants to stay up. Breathe deeply and explain that, while you understand he may not feel sleepy, bedtime means he has to stay in his bed. Quiet play or reading is okay. As long as your child is in his room and in his bed, the rest (pun intended) is up to him.

Off Duty:
You’ve finally got them in bed! Hurray! This is your time to yourself, to do what you want to do. Resist the temptation to start in on your “to-do” list and take care of yourself instead. Sweet dreams will be yours!

You may reprint these tip sheets, free and without special permission, provided that you include the following copyright statement: © King County Library System, Parent Trust and Washington State PTA.