Ajita Seethepalli is the Founder of KidsCenter.in and practices as a professional Child Sleep Consultant and Child Food Habits Consultant. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Young kids love to test their parents’ limits! At least it seems so when you have a young child at home challenging and pushing all the boundaries you set. Children are very creative and can come up with the most amazing bedtime resistance strategies….ranging from charming attempts by trying to be cute and funny, to stalling attempts like asking you to read just one more book, or having a full blown tantrum or major crying episodes. There are a variety of reasons why some kids may resist falling asleep or have trouble falling. Here are some of common triggers of bedtime problems—and ways to cope with them.
Keep in mind that the recommended guideline amount of sleep for 5 to 9 year olds is in the range of 10 to 11 hours per day.
Overtiredness is the enemy of sleep! School going kids have a very active day in school and if they are past their napping years, then as evening sets in their bodies are exhausted. However unlike most adults, when children get overtired many of them start to get extra active. Their tired bodies get over stimulated or get too nervous to fall asleep. So maintaining an age appropriate bed time and consistently following that bed time helps children get the sleep they need.
Kids also feel stress. Their stresses may not seem as big or important to us at all times but they are very important to them. One parent who came to me for help with her 6 year old’s sleep troubles said that her son would think of his problems from school only when she was putting him to sleep and the rest of the day he seemed very active and happy. She assumed he was just trying to stall his bed time by crying and talking about school. The reality was that her son was genuinely stressed by a certain teacher but never thought of her during his hectic activity filled day and started to think and worry about it only when he was relaxed at the end the day, during bed time
During bedtime we relax and calm our children down so that they can fall asleep whereas the rest of the day they are up and about with several activities of the day. This is why sometimes a child who is facing some stress in school for example, may start to open up only during bed time. As parents it is a good idea to create a time in the day which is allotted to just talking about such issues. Generally, dinner time works well for most families to share stories about their day. That way the child has aired out his concerns and by the time bedtime comes around he is calmer and happier to fall asleep.