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Chapter 2: Bedtime Connection

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  • Chapter 2: Bedtime Connection

    On page 76-78 Dr. Laura Markham talks about connection before bedtime being made easier: "Why is bedtime so hard for many families? Because the needs of parents and children clash. To parents, bedtime is the time they finally get to separate from their children and have a little time to themselves. To children, bedtime is the time they're forced to separate from their parents and lie in the dark by themselves. On top of that, children are exhausted and wound up, and parents are exhausted and fed up... It's not easy to stay calm through all the bedtime testing, but it is possible."

    She then gives the following options:
    - making a bedtime chart
    - dividing parental time equally between children so that each one gets the connection she needs
    - don't do anything else during the bedtime routine
    - remembering that bedtime brings up children's separation anxiety so doing a relaxed "separation" game of Hide-and-Seek or the Bye-Bye Game
    - banish electronic screens
    - give each child ten mins of private quality time after lights-out for a snuggle and check-in
    - do whatever you need to stay calm
    - go to bed early enough yourself so that you aren't exhausted the next evening during the bedtime routine

    Two things that stood out to me as a possible challenge is the "dividing parental time equally between children so that each one gets the connection she needs" and "going to bed early enough".
    I only have one child so I do not know first hand the struggle of trying to give each child equal time before bedtime but I do have many friends who struggle with this? If this is something you struggle with, what do you think would help? If you've found a solution to this problem, what are you doing to make it better?

    Now, going to bed early enough is a struggle for me. After I've laid down with my daughter for 30-45 minutes, I come out and want to spend the remaining time to do something for myself as well as spend time with my husband. I find it hard to pull myself into bed so that I am getting adequate. I find if I make myself go to sleep around 9, I am less tired the next day. What time do you go to bed? Do you think this affects anything?