Stay Up Time

Happy Thanksgiving! Visiting family is a joyous occasion. However, it can be stressful with kids. Many have said that a lot of injuries happen during family reunions because everyone thinks someone else is watching the children. Our toddlers fell down a few stairs today. They’ll be ok though. Another struggle is bedtime. When the adults are staying up and talking, the kids don’t want to miss out on anything that might happen. Last night, the kids stayed up until at least 3am. Tonight, my mother tried a technique that she used when I was a kid when we would go to church. When we would act out, we would leave the room, but we couldn’t play. We had to be on my mom’s lap or sitting next to her out in the foyer with no toys. The idea behind this is that it would be better for the kids to stay in the room and be reverent and quiet than to leave the room and sit there with no stimulation. Well, my mom tried implementing “stay up time”. If they didn’t want to go to bed, they would just have to stay up and sit on the couch with no stimulation. My mom dimmed the lights, and we all turned off our devices and just sat and were quiet. Within about twenty minutes, my daughter fell asleep on the couch, and my son decided he didn’t like “stay up time”, and went to bed and fell asleep. The principle is the same as the church scenario. Make it so the alternative to what you want them to do is worse than what you want them to do, so they make the decision to do that thing on their own. I’m not sure if it can be duplicated, but it worked with my kids tonight. Maybe it will work for your children too.

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