Monday, 6 May 2013

Getting them into Bed

If you are like me you have struggled to get your child/ren into bed then maybe this could be an idea for you.
My son had always hated going to bed (once he is there he gets tired and falls asleep - and if he doesn't get enough sleep he is grumpy big time) - but getting him to bed has been a struggle (and still can be sometimes).

What I noticed is that he HATED losing control - he was being told it was bedtime, when what he wanted to do was play. He was being TOLD to put on his pyjamas and brush his teeth etc and it seemed as if he did not like that he had lost control over his day.

So we sat down and made a chart. He drew the pictures of the things that NEED to be done before sleep - toilet, teeth brushing, pyjamas and reading a book on four small pieces of paper ... then I said he could stick them on the back card in any order he wanted - but that he needed to think about what order he wanted to do things before bed. I helped him spell out the words to make it more clear what each picture represented (and also to sneak in some writing) and he was also made sure that the words and pictures connected with little arrows.

When it came to bedtime it was simply to refer him to HIS chart and he got going... and when he got distracted (as he frequently does) it was just to ask him how far he had got and what was next on the list. It made things soo much easier.
It also made things easier because there was no more need for 2 step instructions which he found very hard and would stress him - blurting "I am not a squid" (I think he meant that since squids have many arms they can do many things at the same time - and no matter how I tried to articulate and explain he just could not understand that brush your teeth and THEN put on your pyjamas did not mean brush your teeth and put on your pyjamas at the same time - but no wonder he felt stressed). All I ever needed to say was "what comes next" and he could go and check - often looking at the whole sequence and in this way learning more about two step instructions - we are not quite there with more than that yet!!

The chart is not in use anymore - but it did make two appearances. The first time it was up for 3 months - and then I asked if he felt he still needed it - he shook his head and for a year it was fine but then there came a time when he needed it again - to give him the feeling of control and to take away the aggravation around bedtime... I hate nagging - but I know that sleep is essential and if its the only way I will be on his case... but if I can find a better way - I am all for it...


1 comment:

  1. Great idea! Thanks for suggesting I read it! Will give it a try;)

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