What is the best bedtime routine when children are sharing a bedroom?
This question comes up regularly when we are presenting our Guiding Positive Behaviour workshops when we discuss the amount hours sleep children require for them to feel well rested and ready to take on the day and to achieve positive outcomes.
One parent was having problems getting her pre-schooler to sleep as she was sharing a room with a school age child the result of this was that the child was falling asleep late and was having to be woken in the morning as she had to get to day care and her behaviour as the day went on was less than desirable as a result of not enough sleep.
As you can see from the chart above their sleep requirements are different only by a few hours but over a week it starts to add up.
We suggested that she stagger the bed time routine by putting the pre-schooler to bed first, she could have some one on one time with her reading a book, singing songs and having a chat about the day and settle her off to sleep while the older child was either reading to themselves in another room, hanging out with the other parent having one on one time or playing independently. We also reminder her that the older child will feel special and more “grown up “as their bedtime was later than her younger sibling. After the above routine was implemented with the younger child she could then spend some one on one time with her older child and she would go off to bed and settle to sleep without disturbing her younger sibling.
After looking at the chart and reflecting on the suggestions we made she said “Hah, seems so simple and achievable, I’m going to give it a go!”
Remember when you are experiencing behaviour issues with your children look at the big picture and reflect on what may be causing your child to misbehave and adjust the routine to create a positive outcome for everyone.
If their behaviour is undesirable are they:-
Getting enough sleep most days
Eating healthy food
Getting enough physical exercise
Having positive interactions with family and friends
Getting enough cognitive stimulation
Following an established and realistic routine
Feeling safe and secure in their environment