I subscribe to John Rosemond's website and each day, they post a quote of the day. Today's had me nodding my head and clapping in agreement:
A child's bedtime is not for the child's sake. Parents who understand this put children to bed not because those children supposedly "need their sleep," but because they, the parents, need for them to sleep.
Now, I did lots of things wrong when my children were smaller, but one thing I did and did RIGHT was bedtime! My kids have always been and still are "early-to-bedders." Now, until very recently, they were also early risers but I decided I had to pick my poison. Do I want some free time in the evenings or in the mornings? I settled on the evenings because I'm usually up with Jeff anyway, so why not make it a family affair?
I am very proud to say that, as babies, every one of my children was regularly sleeping twelve hours a night by nine weeks of age (three of the four made it earlier than that). And, yes, they were all breastfed exclusively. I think that's quite an accomplishment, if I do say so myself.
I always have to giggle at people who have "nighttime rituals" that literally last an hour before their children are finally quiet and drifting off to sleep. I guess I'm a mean mom--we never read stories to our kids or have long meaningful discussions or pray for all the missionaries--at bedtime. When it's time for bed, it's time for BED--and that means SLEEP! See you in the morning! Never once has a sick child spent the night in my bed--very occasionally on the floor of our room, but that's only if drastic measures are called for.
I'm sure some of my friends, who may or may not be having bedtime troubles themselves, think I'm cruel and heartless when I say "Put them in bed, kiss them goodnight, and punish them if they get up!" I love my children dearly, and I am the first to admit they are not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but they ARE good sleepers. Like I said, one thing I did right!
For sure, they whine and fuss sometimes and we occasionally hear "ALL my friends get to stay up until [insert some ungodly hour]!" But I just smile and kiss them goodnight as I'm whispering under my breath "I know you might not NEED to go to bed, but I NEED you to go to bed!"