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Grandma’s Place Blog

Going to bed-and staying there!

Jane Bobbermein - Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Bedtime. Are you struggling to get your kids to bed and have them stay there? With some preparation, a plan, and some good old consistency it is possible.

The Basic Bedtime Method


It all starts with what we call The Basic Bedtime method. There are two steps: 1. pick a bedtime and stick to it 2. create a bedtime routine 

1. Time for Bed

Step one is to pick a bedtime and stick to it. You absolutely must be consistent with the bedtime. Why? Because every time you alter the bedtime ‘just this once’, you’re letting your child discover an opening for negotiating bedtime with you every night.

2. Bedtime Routine 

The next component is setting up a Bedtime Routine. This is what you do: Set timer for 20-30 minutes. Let your child know that he needs to use the bathroom, put on pyjamas, brush teeth, get a drink, and anything else you can think of before the timer goes off. Older children (about 6 and up) are on their own. The little guys will need more supervision. Now, let each child know that any time that remains after he has completed his routine is time that the two of you can spend together! Your special time together can be spent either reading or quietly chatting. If he doesn’t finish the routine in time, he goes straight to bed and the lights go out. No arguing. What if they get out of bed? Kids get up after lights out for two reasons, or a combination of both:

1. Boredom

2. Fear

For getting out of bed we use the 'cut them off at the pass' routine. Here’s how it works.

If your child gets up right away after your bedtime routine sit in the bedroom doorway with your back facing the room. If fear is the issue, having you right there will make him feel more secure. Don’t talk or look at them. If he gets up, you pick him up and put him back in without saying anything. Commit yourself to two goals:

1. He’s not leaving that room, and;

2. You’re not talking to him. No matter what.

For more information visit the 1-2-3 Magic website http://www.123magic.com/newsletter-archive/september-2014-newsletter. We also have a number of 1-2-3 Magic Resources available for parents at the Grandma’s Place library.

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