Dealing With Your Kid's Bedtime Personality

By GalTime Sr. Editor KyAnn Lewis

Doctors have plenty of guidelines about how much sleep kids need, but any parent knows that some kids are naturally night-owls whereas others are early-risers. Some sleep a lot and others sleep a little. Your child's bedtime habits might actually have something to do with his or her personality. Being aware of their personality may help you deal with sleep issues more effectively.

GETTING KIDS TO SLEEP

Expert personality profiler (and mom), Angel Tucker, has advice for how to deal with the different personality types in your house. She says, "Bossy kids want choices, challenge, and control so figure out a way to incorporate these options into bedtime. For example, you could say 'You can go to bed at whatever time you want, 8 p.m. is the latest, but you can go to bed anytime you want'."


Related: Can a Bedtime Routine Make Your Kids Smarter?

"Fun kids need a fun bedtime routine. Are there things they enjoy doing? Maybe playing a game or reading a book or watching a cartoon? Write each of these on strips of paper that you put into a jar and have them choose one each night to see what they get to do with mom or dad before bedtime that night," says Tucker.

Related: Make Bedtime Less of a Battlefield

"Sweet kids enjoy time spent with family so use bedtime as an opportunity to snuggle in bed and talk about their day. They will look forward to this time spent bonding with the ones they love!"

"Analytical kids love routine and don't adapt well to change." Tucker says, "Sit down together and make a schedule for what events will occur involving bedtime. You could even make a checklist they can use each night to make sure they have prepared perfectly for bedtime."

{see related story: avoid parenting drama & identify your kid's personality type}

GETTING KIDS TO WAKE UP

So you finally get the kids to sleep and it's already time to get them up. Catering to their personalities will pay off in the morning, too. Tucker says the same tricks apply, just in reverse!

Got a bossy kid? Tucker advises that you, "Challenge them to get ready in the morning faster then their best time. Let them know if they get up the first time you ask - without grumbling - they get to pick what to eat for breakfast that morning."

"For your fun kid, let them know if they get ready in the morning without grumbling that they can watch their favorite cartoon while having breakfast," says Tucker.

"If the sweet kids get up without grumbling, they get to have breakfast with mommy or daddy and maybe even help in the preparation of breakfast or making their lunch for school."

Related: Does Your Teen Need a Bedtime?

"Those analytical children usually set their own routine so you rarely have trouble getting them up in the morning, but if they are feeling lax that day just remind them that they are messing up their perfect record of being on time in the morning!," says Tucker.

ADVICE FROM OTHER MOMS

What works at your house? Amy Kossoff Smith has three boys and offered this advice, "Go slowly and gently. Even though you may be fully dressed and amped up for your day, everyone likes to be woken with a gentle touch." Smith says, "Start the 'wake up process' well ahead of schedule. Build in time for delays, they're inevitable with little ones!"

You might also think about what worked on you when you were a kid. Jen Hancock uses an old family trick, "The way my dad did it was to open the door with a flourish (meaning he threw it open so it made a loud bang) and then he flipped on the light and started singing at the top of his lungs, 'It's time to get up it's time to get up it's time to get up this morning.' If he made it to the second verse and we still hadn't roused from bed, he would walk in and pull the sheets off us. Worked every time and yes, we hated it, but I find myself doing it to my son and it's a LOT of fun. He hates it, but it works."

What works at your house? Share your bedtime success stories by leaving a comment below!


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