No More Sleep: 10 Excuses Your Child Gives to Avoid Going to Bed (page 2)

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Updated on Aug 22, 2013

"There's a monster under my bed!" For as long as there's been children, there's been the age-old complaint of bedroom monsters. Whether your kid just got an eyeful of Monsters, Inc. or he had a bad dream, don't discount these worries. Instead, validate his feelings by doing a pre-bedtime monster check or filling a spray bottle with water and spritzing his room with "monster repellant."

"I'm not tired." After a day's worth of running around, playtime, mealtime, cleaning up and everything else you do as a parent, you're definitely dead on your feet come bedtime. But your little one might still be wide awake, afraid he's going to miss all the cool stuff while he's tucked into bed. Indulge your child once (an extra story might help) and then keep the house quiet for the rest of the night so you can indulge in reality TV in peace.

"I didn't get to _______ today!" Your child is many things: smart, funny, silly, creative and curious. But there's a good chance your toddler or preschooler isn't exactly reasonable. When he remembers that he wanted to go to the park or build a dinosaur out of clay during the day, he might use it as an excuse to avoid bedtime. You can quell his fears that he'll forget in the morning by setting out his sneakers or certain playthings before bed. It works as a guarantee that he can try again tomorrow.

"I hafta pee." Sorry, mama. The nonstop trips to the bathroom are just a fact of life, especially if your little one is potty training. Your best bet is to behave unceremoniously. Help him use the potty and return him to bed without a word so he learns that having to pee at night doesn't mean an automatic potty party.

Pediatrics sleep consultant Irene Gouge reminds parents that sleep shouldn't be an optional activity for your little one. "Well-slept children will be happy, adaptable, and able to handle changes," she says. "Having predictable routines and consistent parental responses are key to keeping sleep habits in place." By taking a hard line and institution a "no more sleep stalling" rule, you'll set a precedent in your home: Sleep is important ... for everyone.

Of course, those few hours of quiet time you get are pretty precious too. Television marathon, anyone?

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