Over the past couple of weeks I have noticed more the kids becoming more sulky and arguing more between themselves. I have been trying to figure the reason why and I have a hunch that it could be to do with a general lack of sleep. I always strive to make my kids life as good as possible and give them everything they need for a healthy, happy and safe life so its become a bit annoying / upsetting that I am having to tell them off more than normal. It may just be a phase they are going through, especially my oldest Miles (nearly 9), but who knows?
I have taught Miles a new expression this week which he now keeps saying to himself so that he doesn’t get told off. “Get your Priorities right” is what I had to keep saying to him when everytime I asked him to do some thing he’d reply with “can I just finish this game” or ” can I just watch this bit”. Its not like you can’t pause the game or the tv programme these days, not like when I was a kid and if Mum said to come for your tea, you knew you’d miss your favourite programme and get back just in time for the credits.
Anyway the grand plan involves messing with their heads a little bit … not in a bad way – its just to get them to sleep earlier! What has been happening recently is that after their bath (at about 8pm) they will have an hour to read, and they have started going into each others bed to share a book or magazine. They are meant to switch their lights out and go off to sleep at say 9pm but they never do and I have to go up a few times to tell them to go to sleep,a nd often its about 10pm by the time they go off which is too late.
The last 2 evenings I have bathed them earlier than usual, and while they have been relaxing in the bath I have gone into their bedroom and moved the clock on by 45 minutes, so by the time they get into bed its looks like its nearly 8pm when its really just after 7pm. I have then said that I will read them a story to relax them even further with the hope it will send them off to sleep.
Sunday night worked perfectly, Ethan fell asleep while I read and Miles had an extra 15 minutes reading his own book after I finished the story, then he went to sleep. Both had nearly 11 hours sleep on Sunday night and woke up in a happy mood on Monday morning and I didn’t have to tell them twice to do anything. They were perfect kids again.
Last night was a different matter. I purposely tried to wear them out by playing outside with them after we got home in the evening. Then did the early bath, moved the clock, read a story in my most relaxing tones, but nope both still awake. It was then a struggle to get them off to sleep and it was actually 9.30pm before they gave in, (they thought it was about 10.15pm)
So the plan continues tonight. We’ll be outside after their tea playing (
and me cutting the grass) until its time for a quick episode of Blue Peter before an early bath, story and hopefully I’ll get them off to sleep a bit earlier than last night. I just need to remember to move their clock on a bit and keep them relaxed and sleepy.
If anyone has any top tips on how to get your kids to sleep (without using sedatives) then hopefully I can get them back on the happy road again.
Photography by Leo Reynolds