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Low Stress School Routines – Peaceful Bedtime

School Night Bedtime

Bedtime marks the transition between one day and the next.  It’s an important chance for you to connect with your child and get them off to a good night of sleep.

Common Pitfall – Bedtime gets too stretched out

Ever feel like bedtime isn’t really a time in your house?  Someone’s up, someone forgot to brush, someone lost track of what you told them to do, and still – nobody’s in bed.

Solutions – I’ll confess, this is an area we still struggle with at times.  However, I have found a few strategies that help me and my kids hit pretty close to the bedtime most of the time.

  • Homework done early enough – If you hear “I forgot to do my homework” near bedtime too often, you might want to rethink your homework routine.  Rather than counting on your kids to remember, you may need to get into the habit of looking at their planner yourself.  And in favor of a more peaceful bedtime, you will want to encourage a homework routine that avoids crunching bedtime as much as possible.  See my post on getting homework done for more ideas.
  • Get the routine on paper –  I have found that my kids like seeing their bedtime routine on paper.  Even my youngest, who is just now starting to read, likes following the pictures.  This can save you from the mind-numbing task of asking and re-asking the same questions each night.  Did you floss, did you go potty, did you pick out your clothes?  You can simply ask if they finished everything on their list, and they can tell you what still needs to be done.  And even if you have a child that needs more support and direction from you, a list gives them something visual to follow along with.
  • Allow for downtime – Bedtime is more than just changing clothes and turning off the lights.  Just like you, kids need a little down time as they transition from school day to sleepytime.  Set up their routine to allow for some reading, coloring, listening to music, talking with mom or dad, or whatever they tend to do at bedtime.  If they do something that always seems to push bedtime past it’s time, just incorporate it and start earlier.  One more tip – get that drink of water before turning the lights off and avoid indulging lots of post-bedtime requests.

Readers Add Your Comments

Bedtime is an opportunity for hugs, soothing rituals, and reflecting on that day that has passed.  Tell me what you do to at bedtime to end the day well.

Creative Commons License photo credit: adwriter

Low Stress School Routines – Peaceful Bedtime

Erika Krull, MS, LMHP

Erika Krull, MS, LMHP is a practicing licensed mental health counselor in Nebraska.

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APA Reference
Krull, E. (2010). Low Stress School Routines – Peaceful Bedtime. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 21, 2020, from


Last updated: 26 Sep 2010
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