Bedtime Strategies:

Create Rules – Each child should have a reasonable bedtime that is consistently adhered to…           

Sample bedtimes:

  • 3-4 year olds: 6:30-7:00
  • 5-6 year olds: 7:15-7:30
  • 7-8 year olds: 7:45-8:15
  • 9-12 year olds: 9:30 lights out
  • Teenagers:   10:00-11:00 and create a contract that requires teenager to be responsible and get him or herself out of bed in order to continue having a later bedtime

Once in bed, child cannot come out.  Mommy ignores the child regardless of the complaint.  Help child understand (during the day) that he might have a valid complaint one night, but since he complains frequently, it will be ignored until the complaining stops for a while.  Then mom will take complaints more seriously.

If child continuously has reasons to come out of bed, ie. bathroom, thirsty, hungry, one more kiss, too cold, too hot, etc. then make a to-do list that must be completed before bedtime.

Skills and Concepts:   Model staying in bed vs. continuously coming out/complaining

Rewards and Corrections:

        1. Two stories if in bed by 8:00             One story if in bed by 8:05             No story if in bed by 8:15

        2. Three marbles/tickets in a bag               • Each time your child comes out of bed, one marble is removed.               • If your child still has at least one marble, he gets a prize the next day and if your child did not receive any marbles then there is no prize.

       3. The music and light in the hallway are on when you go to bed.  After the first noise, the music goes off.  After the second noise, the hallway light goes off.  After the third noise, the door to your room gets shut.  After 5 minutes of total quiet, everything goes on again. 

Sample Evening Schedule  (1) • 4:10               Snack • 4:15               Take a break in the house • 4:30              Do homework • 5:00              Playtime • 6:15       Supper • 7:15               Chore • 7:45              Shower and Bed • 8:00              Two stories • 8:15               Mommy is out of room

Sample Evening Schedule (2) • 5:30                Arrive home from school • 5:30-6:15        Suppertime • 6:15-7:15        Homework • 7:15-8:00        Play • 8:00-8:15        Snack • 8:15-8:45        Get ready for bed, shower • 8:45-9:15        Read book in bed • 9:15                 Lights out

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