Let’s face it, life as a single mom is tiring. Not only do you have to work full time, but you also have to perform all of the care and emotional support tasks for your children. The last thing you are ready to face at the end of the day are bedtime battles, yet it seems like they occur no matter how much you try to avoid them. Here are some tips to help you deal with them.
First, never reward the behavior. Make it a rule that you do not give your child something she is crying for. If there is a legitimate need, she needs to ask nicely.
Next, establish a bedtime routine that is predictable, but keep it from being too long. Sometimes drawing out the process can lead to more battles simply because the child has time to prepare his strategy. You might want to use a night-light or leave the bedroom door open to ward off fears of the dark or being alone.
You may feel like you have to insist that your child sleeps. After all, you know how important sleep is. This is not true. As long as your child stays in his or her bed, allowing some quiet play or looking at books is fine. When they are tired, if the atmosphere is quiet and dark, they will go to sleep. Once you tuck them in, your job is done.
Remember, bedtime battles often begin as a power struggle. Make sure your child knows what is expected at bedtime, then tuck them in and leave the room. By doing this, you may be able to prevent the fight, but remember that it will take a while to unlearn behavior that has been in place for a while. If your child is used to throwing a fit at bedtime, then you might have a few rough nights, but soon you will both fall into a routine that works for your family.