Do you find that you are dreading your children's bedtime? If you have a child who has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), you may often feel overwhelmed. If you have more than one child with this problem, that feeling is compounded. By the end of the day you are surely ready for those darlings to be in bed! However, you may find that bedtime is the hardest time of your day, as you may be exhausted yourself. Here are some ideas that might help you to help your children to wind down at the end of the day, and to get a good night's sleep so you can have one, too.
Play Hard - No matter whether your children go to school or whether they are still pre-schoolers, it's important for them to get their energies spent by late afternoon. After they have a nutritious snack is a good time for them to get the message that there's going to be some play time, and that play time will lead to the rest of the evening. Think of having some family activities that the family can do together. A game of tag, a long walk or a trip to the park would be among great activities you may enjoy with your children. Think of writing activities on little slips of paper and, after folding them, putting them into a jar. Each day take turns to see which activity you will do together. Getting to choose is just part of the fun!
Wind Down - A good time to begin the winding down process is at suppertime. Insist that sitting at the table is a time when good manners are shown and that, even if it's hard for them, the kids need to stay seated until they've been excused. However, being excused from the table doesn't mean that it's playtime again. Instead, have some stations set up in the family room or right in the kitchen area where children can play as quietly as they are able to. Stations might include a table with colors and paper for them to work on, a reading nook, or a place where they can work with clay. Playing very soft music in the background would be a great thing to do.
Bedtime - Let your children participate in setting up what the routine will be. For example, even though you have already decided that there will be a family prayer, a story time and a time for singing soft songs, the children might do better if they get to choose the order of those activities. Write them on a little poster board and show them that, after you have done those things, it is time to go to bed and stay there.
Extra Help - If you have found that, no matter how well you try to stick to a routine, your children still can't fall asleep, think about trying something that will help them. One idea is to use lavender essential oil, which helps to relax your children and to help them sleep. Another great resource for you is melatonin. Melatonin is used for adults who have problems going to sleep, and it can help your children, too. Melatonin plays a key role in regulating your children's natural body clock, also known as their circadian rhythms. Let your children's pediatrician know that they are taking the melatonin so it can be part of their medical records.Read more online, such as at http://www.tiredteddies.com/, about helping children sleep.
It's good to keep a journal of how your children react to different things you try to help them get the good night's sleep they need to be healthy.Share