Tears at Bedtime

Why is it so hard putting our children to bed?! Its a constant battleground with stamping feet, “your mean” , “five more minutes” comments.  Could someone please explain to my sons that it’s bedtime….
Ive just caught my five year old laid across the stairs craning to watch the TV when he’s supposed to be in bed.  I’d just happened to go downstairs to get a cup of tea and as the landing and stairs are in the dark, nearly fall over him!  “come on, bedtime” I told him.  Only to have him respond “That’s not fair I want to watch the film”.  Now this has followed a previous hour long routine before bedtime.  Tea, TV, bath time, drinks and bed, so why oh why isn’t he in bed?  I’m tired, he and his brother have been up since 6.15am much to the shock of their poor grandmother.  Where do they get the energy I’d like to know because I could seriously do with some.  So I shooed him off the stairs and into his bedroom only to discover his older brother was also out of bed.  Why can’t they just go to bed without this game, surely their tired.  I know I am and just want to crawl into bed with a cup of tea and watch some TV before bed, ready to start again tomorrow. 
To top it off the youngest thinks this game is great fun and proceeds to run in and out of his brother’s room laughing and generally winding the older two up further.  I’ve just spent an hour and a half ironing the previous weeks laundry and I’m not about to play games with the boys.  So I bundle them back into their beds and reminded them it was school in the morning and if they didn’t go to sleep they wouldn’t have the energy to learn new things and play with their friends.  Both laid down and I left their bedroom to “sorry mummy, night night”.  Now lets hope that’s an end to it and they go to sleep.  The youngest was now changed and waiting to be fed so I clambered into bed to obliged.  Its certainly time’s like this I’m happy to be still breastfeeding as I’ve an excuse to cuddle in bed and watch TV while feeding.  
Ten minutes later my youngest is asleep, ah peace and me time at last!  How wrong was I!  I don’t know what it was but something caught my eye in my dressing table mirror.  So I went to the door and who do you think was sitting there watching the TV round the corner?! My five year old.  I couldn’t believe it, it’s now 9pm and he was sent to bed at 7pm.  So why is he still awake?  The eldest is finally asleep and so’s the youngest, so why not him?  Surely he’s tired now.  I asked “what’s the matter?”   “I want a cuddle”, so I gave him a cuddle and told him “It’s bedtime, come on now, you’ll be so tired in the morning”.  With head hung and that bottom lip pouting he retreated to his bed.    I settled back down with a cup of tea to watch a little more TV.  Half an hour later I decided I’d better check on the boys, what a relief finally sleeping.  So that record bedtime took a grand total of three hours.  Surely there’s easier ways of getting them to bed?
As I’ve said we do have a routine and usually on a weeknight it includes a bedtime story.  Granted we have let them stay up a little later than usual due to the light nights but I know we’re not alone in doing that.  Sometimes we go for a walk on the beach before tea and let the boys run of some energy but its not practical every night.  My mum will ring on an evening and will hear the boys running around and will want to know why their still awake.  After all she never had this problem when I and my siblings were younger!  So helpful mum! Then she’ll continue to tell me it’s our own fault because we would stay with them until they were sleeping.  “You’ve made a rod for your own backs” she’ll say.  We have tried the controlled crying routine as well as others and to be honest they just didn’t work for us.  We hated the boys getting worked up and distressed so much they’d make themselves sick.  We really don’t like the thought of them going to sleep upset either.  But realistically we can’t sit with them for hours on end each night either.  The older two have also tried sleeping in separate rooms so they don’t disturb each other but that didn’t last long.  So currently each night is hit and miss as to whether the boys go to sleep when their supposed too or not. 

1 thought on “Tears at Bedtime

  1. Camilleta says:

    I sit with my daughter for 2-3 hours at night, trying to get her to sleep. And she talks NON-STOP that entire time, hahah. When you figure out a solution, let me know!

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