Back to School.. How to Accustom Children to Going to Bed Early?
The summer vacation is about to end, as there are only a few days left before pupils start to go back to school again.
During vacation, my kids were used to staying up too late at night. Some of them even used to stay up until the early daylight hours, when they can only go to bed and stay asleep for most of the remaining hours of the day.
What should I do to prepare my children for going back to school and get them accustomed to going to bed early to be able to wake up early?
Indeed, schools are about to reopen again, which imposes a new daily routine that is completely different from that which families were used to during vacation.
All families that have kids at the school age are subject to the same daily routine of waking up early to help their kids go to school on time, wait for them to go back home at the end of the school day, help them do their homework, and finally prepare them to go to bed early to wake up early the next day.
Due to the fact that children are not of the same age, this requires taking different procedures for each age. For example, parents can do little towards adolescents as providing advice and reminders from time to time, due to the fact that they can no longer be subject to the same procedures followed by parents in dealing with younger children at home, in terms of the daily routine activities and obligations.
Following is a set of tips that may help parents accustom their children to going to bed early and getting up early before the start of the new school year:
First: Parents should put certain limits for their children’s habit of staying up late at night. They should prepare a program for their kids during the early evening hours, provided that it does not exceed midnight.
Second: Parents should advise the child to stay in bed, even if he / she cannot fall asleep early, to give his / her brain (internal clock) a chance to get used to the new routine.
Third: Parents should make sure to dim the house lighting after the evening prayers, and keep them dimmed until the child goes to bed, regardless of its timing.
Fourth: Parents have to change children’s mealtimes from those they were used to during vacation, where:
- Breakfast should be served earlier than before.
- Lunch should be served no later than five in the afternoon.
- Dinner should not exceed nine in the evening, and can be served earlier on a gradual basis.
Fifth: Parents should offer the child a cup of warm milk before he / she goes to bed, as it has several health benefits.
Sixth: Parents should help the child overcome the habit of drinking tea, soft drinks, and other caffeinated drinks.
Seventh: Parents should avoid offering sweets to the child in the evening, as sugary substances can help stimulate the mind and keep it awake, which may negatively affect the child's ability to sleep early.
Eighth: Parents should tell interesting stories and tales to their children before bedtime, which helps the child fall asleep easily.
Ninth: Parents should reduce evening programs as much as possible, organize mealtimes, and use dim lights at night.
Snippet: Parents should advise their children to stay in bed, even if they cannot fall asleep early, to give their brains a chance to get used to the new routine.