School is about to start. The carefree days of summer are coming to an end, which means the regular routine must be reinstated. Perhaps you’ve been more lenient in regard to the kids’ sleep schedule during the summer. Since they don’t have to wake up early for school, hitting the sack a bit later is no big deal. The kids surely appreciate the freedom, but now that school’s right around the corner, it’s time to get back on track. A good night’s rest is required for children to function at their peak in the classroom.
Before you switch up the system “cold turkey,” here are a few ways you can ease the kids into the program. They’ll barely notice the shift, and you won’t have to deal with the pre-bedtime drama.
Wake Up Earlier
If you get your kids up a tad earlier than you have been all summer, they’ll naturally feel tired earlier in the evening too. By the time bedtime rolls around, they just won’t have the “juice” to stay up as late. Since they’ll be sleepy, you won’t have to pressure them to put on their PJs.
Eat Supper Sooner
Move dinnertime up by an hour. The kids are already used to a couple of hours of free time after supper before they go to sleep, so they can still fit in their fun before going to bed. You won’t cut into their playtime because they won’t realize the difference thanks to the earlier dinner.
New Evening Rituals
Start a new routine as the summer winds down. You can read books, watch a movie as a family, or have “teatime” before bed (decaf, of course). Make the activity something relaxing so the kids won’t be wired before hopping into bed.
You can consider getting back to the school season sleep schedule abruptly, but allow the kids one “cheat day” where they can have an extra hour to play or enjoy their favorite pastime. This treat won’t make the other days seem as strict. You may notice they’ll fall asleep as usual anyhow since they’ll start to fall into a habit.
How do you get the kids back to the school sleep schedule? We’d love to share your smart tips.
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By: Melissa A. Kay