It’s nearly that time of year! Most of you will be in holiday mode and I am sure you do not want to think about morning school runs, lunch boxes and sleep routines. However, the next two weeks are ideal for gently returning to your sleep routine and managing any school anxieties. Prevent the moans, groans, and rush when school is about to start. Here are my ideas for you to start now.
Move their bedtime 15 minutes earlier now
Your child’s body will need time to readjust to all those late nights of summer fun. Don’t wait until the night before, start moving their bedtime 15 minutes earlier every two to three nights. So if your child is falling asleep around 9:00 pm and you need to get bedtime to 7:30 pm for the school year, it will take you 12-15 days to do so. The image below shows how much sleep you need.
Use a problem-solving approach to work it out together.
Have a meeting with your child and let him know bedtime will be changing. Let them be a part of the process. This will be easy if you are already implementing Family Meetings. Make a bedtime routine chart and set a reward for cooperative behaviour. As I am not keen on monetary rewards, here are several alternative ideas:
- Have more Special time
- Make a cake or food together
- Play football or some sport
- Play cards
- Picnic in the park
- A home film night with popcorn
- Choose who sits at the dinner table
- Allow your child to choose a meal
- A day off from Chores
Make it fun and use a timer.
This will help keep everyone on track through the bedtime routine process. A bedtime routine should be very consistent and simple from night to night. It should only be about 30-45 minutes long.
Start to reduce screen time.
It’s really ok to flex boundaries in the holidays, screen time is often increased. You can talk about the return to school and start reducing it now. It’s always wise not to use screens one hour prior to bedtime.
Manage the “Worry Monsters”
Children who suffer from anxiety ( GAD, Social or Separation) or struggle with transitions start to experience anticipation anxiety regarding school normally about now. It’s unhelpful to avoid it, develop a ” we can do it“! approach.
This Blog may help, Planning for the School Transition. Alternatively, your child may start to have worries and fears at night again. I want to reassure you that fears and worries are very common at night. It is normal for children to feel scared about monsters, ghosts, the dark, noises, and intruders. Before the age of six children struggle to distinguish between fact and fantasy. These fears are very real to them. Take a calm approach and for more ideas to manage fears, click on >>Nighttime fears<<
Lastly, I am always going to say don’t forget to tell your child that I love you no whatever you do or say forever. When your child knows that they are loved unconditionally no matter what, the connection and attachment between you will be secure for life. Wishing you a smooth transition into the Autumn Term.
If you need a bit more help, do contact me for a Consultation. With Love Always Catherine