Best advice we ever got was from another parent in an outreach program who said
"Get a TV. and video for the bedroom" And that was in the olden days when TV’s were expensive and big!
Apart from the peace it gives you to have them entertained, it is a good bargaining tool. If you can reason with your child you can tell them that the volume goes down at bedtime, we tell our Boo "5 quiet" and if he turns it up we say "Bye Bye T.V and gesture to unplug it.
I have unplugged it and removed it on occasion. (Actually just last night) so it helps to have a video or dvd combined unit or even better; a mini player)
You can also work on a sleep settling routine, bath, jammies, bedtime snack or drink, tooth brushing and one last nappy or toilet trip and then it is:
Stay in Bed Time.
I found a "do to learn" visual schedule helpful in a flip card style so my Boo could fold down each step.
I made this one by downloading and printing off the pictures I needed to suit Boo and then stuck them to a hard card, like the ones you find in the bottom of tne new reuseable supermarket bags. Boo was able to complete each step and flip the pictures down.
A mum in a support group told me her son slept with the waking up picture in his hand, he didn’t want to go to sleep forever!
Some people in the group told me to make sure all the toys were in the playroom (Hello, I live in a 3 bedroom terrace) but I compromised by getting some big plastic toy boxes at a hardware store and padlocking them at bedtime. My son could choose one soft toy to keep out of the box and one book per night.
So, with their DVD/TV on low volume, a favourite toy and a book, they now have no reason to be getting out of bed. Or Do They?
If you are a working Mum or have other children, the demands of the rest of your responsibilities may mean that the attention your child receives is reduced. Then, when it gets to bedtime, they are pressing your buttons just to get you all to themselves.
So; A story and some quality time scheduled prior to bedtime is also crucial.
Once you have agreed that it is time to stay in bed, turn the volume down, and leave the room. From that point on you do not give any attention. If they get up go into the room and lead them back to bed. Ask in a neutral tone do they want "No tv?" Then if they get up again, turn off the T.V. for 30 seconds, I do it for ten minutes now but my son is 9.
We use a big sand timer which he controls.
Do not forget about the time, stay at the door and then go in and turn T.V. back on. Remind your child to "Stay in bed" and leave. The second time you just turn off the t.v and leave.
Sometimes the function of bedtime messing is just to have you coming in and out of the room, that is have your attention whether negative or positive.
So that is why you must be sure to set aside the time separately during the early evening to give them the attention they crave away from the bedtime routine.
The dishes can wait, your favorite t.v show will be repeated.
Make a little bit of quality cuddle up time in a neutral room every evening and read a funny story book together. No instructing or correcting, just fun.
And then at bedtime, stick to your guns, it only takes 21 days to break a habit!