Summer is a time for creativity, for exploration, for family-based adventure. All this fun often leads to complete and utter dissolution of any semblance of bedtime. At least that’s how it goes in my house. And if it doesn’t in yours, well, I don’t want to hear about it. My list of parental failures is long and tawdry, I’d rather not add this to it, so I’ll go on assuming everyone has this problem.
As I was saying, after all the camping trips, family movie nights, long car rides home from visits to family and general malaise toward bedtime, the beginning of the school year looms ominously once back-to-school shopping begins to rear its ugly head. Its big, murky disapproving form wags its finger at you as it lumbers down the hall reminding you how truly horrific it will be to reinstate an early enough bedtime to keep your kids healthy, happy and conscious during class.
But, I’ve been a mom for over eleven years now (stop trying to figure out how old I am and stay on topic), so I’ve learned a few things along the way. Here are my three tips for getting back to a school friendly bedtime routine.
- Relish Rituals and Routine
You know how you really enjoy a nice cup of herbal tea to unwind after a long day? It’s not just you. Kids can benefit immensely from a nightly routine of quite time with a book or story time and some Sleepytime Kids tea in Goodnight Grape flavor.
- Create a Calming Atmosphere
Keep the room cool, turn out all the lights (and if your child insists on a nightlight be sure to find a blue wave light so as not to disrupt their circadian rhythm) and consider using an ultrasonic oil diffuser to enhance the tranquility of the room with essential oils like lavender, patchouli or a blend like NOW Foods Peaceful Sleep.
- Don’t Be Scared of Sleep Support
I’m not suggesting you get your child a prescription sleeping pill. There are many herbal solutions that are well respected for helping to promote relaxation and healthy sleep patterns, with no dangerous ingredients and no side effects. One of my favorites is Hyland’s Calm ‘n Restful for Kids. I love just about everything from Hyland’s, but their children’s line is particularly life changing, in my humble opinion. These dissolvable tablets are great especially if you have a little one that likes to get out of bed over and over and over…and over.