Scrap strict bedtimes for a ‘child-led’ approach, says parenting expert
Bedtime can be a nightmare for some parents – but, according to parenting expert Kirsty Ketley, the key is to scrap them completely.
Of course, the kids need to get to bed at some point, but Kirsty advises to follow a ‘child-led approach’ over strict bedtimes.
She came to the realisation when getting her own daughter, Ella, now nine, to bed for 7pm, began to feel impossible.
‘Although she was a good sleeper, sometimes she wasn’t ready to sleep at seven o’clock and it didn’t matter how much I tried to do a routine,’ said Kirsty, 42.
Kirsty began paying attention to her children’s energy levels, taking into account how busy they’d been that day – this meant that their nighttime routine would start at any time from 5.30pm to 7pm.
When they had success with Ella, Kirsty and her husband used the same technique with their son, Leo, now six.
‘He very much sometimes needs to go to bed at seven o’clock,’ Kirsty said.
‘Sometimes it’s eight o’clock. It just depends on what kind of days we’ve had and what we’ve been doing.’
However, Kirsty does still advise a nighttime routine: turning off the screens, reading a book, doing some mindfulness techniques and dimming the lights.
When her children were little, they would have a baby massage as well as story time. Now she makes sure to avoid television time for 45 minutes to an hour before bed.
‘There has been research to show that watching television right to the last minute before bed isn’t necessarily going to promote good sleep,’ says Kirsty.
Source of data and images: metro