Finding and securing a consistent bedtime is one place where a secret recipe may really work.
Actually, it's not secret at all.
The facts are in. Getting your kids to bed at a consistent time each night has been proven to make them nicer, calmer, more able to focus and better able to pay attention at school. Overall, this consistency reduces many potential behavior problems.
New data on sleep patterns for young children drives this point home. Getting your children to bed at the same time each night is powerful. Without a reliable and regular bedtime routine, children may disrupt natural circadian rhythms. In addition, sleep deprivation is more likely in children whose bedtimes move all around.
The secret is in routine. It may sound trite, but if you stay the course, make bedtime a wonderful time to read, talk and listen to your kids, then bedtime is something they will look forward to instead of dreading. Children should not use electronics or watch TV right before bed and if you, as the parent, treat bedtime as a treat, your children will see it that way too.
Start the bedtime routine early, with teeth-brushing and getting ready, and then settle in with your child and really let them use that time to be just with you. No phones or distractions. By doing these few things, and insisting on a set bedtime, your children will actually look forward to going to bed.
Mama Doc, Wendy Sue Swanson, joins Melanie Cole, MS, to discuss why routine and consistent bedtimes are so important for raising a healthy, well-adjusted child.