Managing Bedtime Routines

Managing Bedtime Routines

Bedtime can be one of the most challenging times of the day for parents. Both children and teenagers can have difficulties with bedtimes. There are many reasons why a child may not want to go to bed including;

  • Fear of separation from parentsBedtime routine
  • Fear of the dark
  • Lack of routine
  • Associating bedtime with other activities (including watching tv)
  • Fear of bedwetting
  • Curiosity, thinking they will miss out on something whilst they are asleep

Children’s problem-solving and reasoning skills are still developing which means they can be impulsive and frustrated easily. Bedtime may be something that frustrates them so it is important to try and keep calm. Making a child’s surroundings relaxing and predictable can help them settle. This may include making changes such as;

  • Having a regular bedtime routine
  • Dim lighting
  • Having quiet time an hour before bed (without tv)
  • Making sure the house is relatively quiet
  • Reassuring children who are scared, give them a night light if they are scared of the dark
  • Checking on children before lights are out

If the child is a bit older (or a teenager) it may also help to take away electronic devices such as computers and mobile phones around bedtime. For young children a reward system may be used such as a star chart. Once they have a certain number of stars for good bedtime behaviour they can be rewarded with an enjoyable activity.

Breaking bad habits around bedtime takes time and effort, so don’t be disheartened if it takes awhile for children to adjust to new routines!

If problems persist awhile after routines have been changed or if you are concerned about your child’s sleeping habits please seek professional help. If you would like further information on Perth counselling services or play therapy for children, contact us today.

Article Title: Managing Bedtime Routines
Article By: Vision Counselling and Psychology, Perth Western Australia
Web Address:
Published: 29/06/2014
Editors of parents Magazine (2000). From The Parents Answer Book: From Birth Through Age Five. Available at : Accessed on: May 30, 2014
Lehman, J. (2005). Winning the Bedtime Battle: Winning the Bedtime Battle with Young Kids and teens. Available at: Accessed on: May 30, 2014
Image Reference: Dollar Photo Club

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