A bedtime routine and set time are huge at our house.  I’m the bedtime police.  If the kids don’t get to bed then getting up in the morning is so much worse that it should be and BG is so cranky.  Most nights DG seems to think I’m just being mean, but I promise him that there is a reason that I’m so strict about bedtime.

BG has a “responsibility chart” listing the things he has to do every night, like read, do spelling homework, bath, pick up his toys and clothes, brush his teeth and get to bed on time without whining.  I’d be lying if I said he got through most of it every night without a lot of prodding from me.  Some nights it’s a downright struggle.  I feel like he’s 6 though, and plenty old enough to do these things without a fight, so I’ve been pretty adamant about follow-through lately.  Good habits and skills are learned at an early age, and I want to make sure that he has them.

I also like to have our night go smoothly so that BG gets to bed on time and can have a short movie while he falls asleep.  For some reason, he’s absolutely terrified of going to sleep without light and noise.  Watching a movie is a terrible habit (I should probably get him a sound machine), but it’s not something I started with him and it’s really hard to break.  Sometimes when he is going to bed way too late I take away the movie so that he won’t stay up late watching it, but that ends up backfiring and he gets out of bed a million times needing a snack or a drink or saying he’s scared.  At that point I’m not very nice and DG is blaming me for taking away the movie.  It’s a vicious circle!  So I that’s why I’m so strict on getting him to bed at 8:30.  Plus, that gives me about 2 hours to pick up the house, get the kids/myself packed for the next day’s activities, shower, get the baby fed and put down for the night, talk to DG and watch a little bit of TV.  I need my sleep and even just a little downtime as much as the next person and having a strict bedtime is absolutely necessary for my sanity.  I’m sure I’m not that only parent with a bedtime struggle either!

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