Cincinnati Family Magazine

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December 10, 2022

what say YOU?

My 9-year-old is a night owl!
She stays up well past her bed time.
What do I do to get her to sleep?

talk to her

Find out exactly what keeps her up. Is she just too tempted to watch TV, play a video game or read a book? If that is the case, then remove all of those temptations. Will her brain just not turn off? My daughter and I both have that problem and have found that actually having something boring on for our brains to focus on helps us get to sleep. It is something like mellow music or a show that isn’t too engaging. Good luck!
– Vilara, mother of two

earlier bedtime helps

During the week, it’s important to start the bedtime process as early as possible. Move it an hour back if necessary – start turning the lights down, turning off the TV and computer and move to the bedroom to settle her down with storytime, prayer and talking so she feels like she’s had some of your full attention for the day. Often kids keep getting up after they’ve been put down to get the attention that they crave.

Also, as an incentive to stay down, offer her one weekend night each week to stay up late, camp out in the living room, watch movies, play games as a family and possibly drink the forbidden fruit – a caffeinated beverage! Even if you let her stay up later on the weekend, re-package it and re-sell it, make it a special family event that she’ll want to earn!
– Emily, mother of two

eat dinner earlier

Your child may be wound up from eating dinner too late. She may need more time to fully digest her food. Certain foods can make kids hyper or maybe even cause heartburn, which can keep anyone at any age up all hours of the night. Pay attention to what she eats and try to avoid any foods that may cause her to be hyper or have heartburn.
– Tammy, mother of three

enforce the rules

If she is just not going to bed because she doesn’t want to, then you must enforce the rules. Take away special privileges if she doesn’t go to bed when she is told. Don’t give in and let her stay up, she will only learn that you will continue to allow her to play into the night until SHE is ready for bed.
– Johnathan,  father of one

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