Positive parenting: 3 things to say to get your kids to bed on Christmas Eve
It is the most exciting, magical night of the year.
And it's no wonder it can be hard for kids to go to sleep on Christmas Eve. We get it.
But we also know that time is precious, and sometimes, you know, mums and dads need a little bit of time for certain prep work come night time...
As well as this, many of us with young children are aware how unpleasant kids are when they are tired and cranky, and so to ensure everyone has a nice Christmas Day, bedtime needs to happen relatively on time-ish on Christmas Eve.
Wondering how the heck to make this happen? These might help:
1. A good night's sleep is important
"A good night's sleep will give you lots of energy to play with your new toys on Christmas Day."
According to Mother.ly, we should be using positive sleep speak at least three times during the day—especially if you have a child who struggles with sleep even when it's just a regular season, not the middle of the festive season. "Praise your child for every successful bedtime and naptime. Saying things like, "Wow, you took such a big nap today!" or "I was so proud of you when you fell asleep on your own last night!" can make a difference."
2. Explain the day ahead
"In the morning, we're going to open presents, eat breakfast and then go to Grandma's house."
While most children will be buzzing with excitement about Christmas Day, some kids are going to feel anxious, simply because things will be different than a normal day, and they might just not be sure what to expect. This can be unsettling and interfere with their ability to fall asleep – and stay asleep.
So instead, take some time before bed to talk with your child about what they can expect at Christmas. Let them know the agenda, and remind them that you'll have the whole day to spend together as a family.
3. Encourage, rather than threaten
"Santa will arrive after everyone's asleep."
If you are trying to practise positive parenting, using phrases that are more encouraging, rather than threatening ("If you don't go to sleep, Santa isn't going to come!") is a better approach.
Or you could go an extra step and have a family member ring a little bell outside while you're putting your little one to bed so you can say, "I think I hear the reindeer flying by! Let's go to sleep so Santa can stop here!".
Their little faces will be worth it and it just might help get them to sleep a little quicker...