5 Ways to Help Your Kid Get More Sleep

Mancub at age 10 sleeping on the way home from Arkansas.

Mancub at age 10 sleeping on the way home from Arkansas.

 

Remember the good old days when all you had to do was say, “Ok kids! Bedtime!” and your kids would happily obey, their smiling faces hugging and kissing you goodnight? Me neither. This has never happened in the history of the WORLD. If you have the perfect family that is described in this scenario, I dare you to drive to Texas and tell me to my FACE.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but getting your teen to bed is sometimes just as hard as it was when he was little…and teens are way sneakier than their cute toddler counterparts.It’s time to get ready for school, and your Mancub is not cooperating. You knock gently, then louder, to only hear a muffled noise that resembles English but makes no sense. It’s happened again, hasn’t it? When our kids grow into teens, it’s more difficult to enforce rules like bedtime. They have after-school activities, chores, social media, and friends to distract them from getting the rest they need. What can we do to help them without it turning into a confrontation? Here are five of my best tips.

1. Make a no-electronics in the bedroom rule at bedtime. No computers, TV, or cell phones within reach after a certain time. This way, when other kids text or Skype your kid, he won’t even know … hopefully  because he’s sleeping. I found it so much easier to get Mancub to bed once I moved the computer to the study. No late-night gaming unless I know about it.

2. Cut off the caffeine. It’s ok to tell your kid that one soda a day is a limit. It will help your wallet, too.

3. Give your Mancub the tools for a good night’s rest. Make sure he has a good mattress and pillow available. If you need to, skimp somewhere else on your budget so you can afford it. Teens need between 9-10 hours a night to keep up.

4. Keep the pets out of the bed. It’s proven that we can’t sleep as well when we’re joined by our furry friends.

5. Cut off screen time for at least a half an hour before your kid goes to bed. It’s proven that playing video games or the use of electronics stimulates the brain and makes it harder to wind down.

Just talking about bedtime is making me sleepy. See how well this works?

Do you have any tried and true ways to get good rest? Please comment below.

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