We all like to let off some steam when the summer comes and that is completely natural. When we’re blessed with free time, we tend to throw all the routine and rules to the wind and just enjoy life without any limitation. This is not a bad idea when you’re a grownup, but if you have children, leaving them without any structure they had during their school months will easily result in chaos.
It is vital for your sanity to keep some discipline your children have throughout the year during summer months. That could be a challenge seeing that the only thing your little ones will want is to play all day, but you need to persevere and here are 5 tips to help you get your kids to sleep during the summer months.
Structure Is Necessary
Even when your kids don’t have any homework to do and no chores to finish, their days should still be structured by you. By all means, let them play and spend time with their friends, but be sure that they clearly know when it is time to get to bed, both when it comes to their afternoon nap and at night.
Allow for an hour of wiggle room around the designated bedtime, but don’t go over that because it will be very difficult to get them back to their sleeping routine once the school starts again. Chances are you’ll be dealing with fussing, but it’s important to stay on track, that way your kids will eventually give up and you won’t have to deal with their scrambled sleeping patterns.
Don’t Stay Still
If your kids are young, then you’re aware just how much energy they’ve got and how getting them to have a nap in the afternoon can sometimes be mission impossible. The truth is that even though your little guys won’t show, they still get pretty tired throughout the day. Let them fill the first part of their day with vigorous activities such as going to the beach, doing sports or just playing outside and after that, getting them to bed won’t be such a feat.
They might disagree with you at first, but once they’re in the comfort of their beds, the world calling to them will become less important. Also, you can arrange the nap on the beach as well, just make sure it’s in the shade and your kiddies are comfortable.
Optimal Conditions Are Desirable
Children can be demanding, especially when they’re supposed to do something they don’t want to do. For this reason, it’s more than desirable to have their room in optimal sleeping conditions that will allow them to relax and slumber without distractions. Since the summers have become so hot, having your child’s room nice and cool is practically a must, so up to 74 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, make the room dark because the sun rises early and so will your kids unless you provide some dark curtains.
If the little ones are sensitive to even the smallest sounds like walking, snoring in the other room or distant talking, then make sure that their room has some form of sound insulation, though as they grow up, they will get used to the background sounds. The key here is to find what the conditions in which your children sleep best are and then use it to your advantage.
Cut Down the Stimuli
If you feed your kids candy and let them play vigorously an hour before they’re supposed to go to bed, you can be sure they won’t be coming to sleep easily. It’s a good idea to cut down the stimuli right after dinner so that the child can have some time to calm down and before-bedtime routine comes in handy.
The best thing you can do is to have a couple of rituals with your little one before you settle them down for the night, and it can be giving them a bath, reading or simply letting them tell you about their day. Kids crave their parents’ attention more than anything, so giving them some love and time right before they fall asleep will make them feel safe and loved.
Exceptions that Prove the Rule
From time to time, exceptions from the sleep rules are completely fine. Avoid doing it too often because your kids will get used to it but do leave some leeway when circumstances don’t allow getting to bed on time and napping just isn’t possible. Your children will cherish these exceptions and will be grateful and from time to time, when they’ve been on their best behavior, it’s ok to shun the sleeping schedule, even for just one day.
Just make sure that those exceptions are on special occasions and are treated as such because that will be the reward for your kids’ good behavior.
Getting your kids to bed during the summer months can sometimes be a challenge, but in time you’ll find a system that works. Instead of pushing them into their room and closing them in until they’re asleep try giving them gentle nudges they won’t even notice but will respond to. That way, they will have healthy sleeping patterns and you won’t have any problems once the school starts again.
About the author
Theresa Brawner is 28 years old, lives in Boston and works as a fitness instructor and blog writer for www.diet.st. When she isn’t cooking up some interesting new post, she enjoys spending time in nature and reading science fiction books.