6 Resolutions for Better Toddler Behavior

Resolution #4: I won't cave when my child demands to stay up way past her bedtime.

Why it's worth making: There's no point in setting a limit that you never enforce. If your toddler knows she can stay up late simply by screaming loudly enough, she'll just consider it a license to break all the other rules you've set.

Your new approach: Be consistent. Once you've set a rule, you have to enforce it all the time -- "usually" won't cut it when you're dealing with little kids. That no-wavering stance is particularly important when it comes to serious issues like sleep. "Toddlers who stick to a regular bedtime schedule are less likely to start a power struggle in the evening and lose valuable rest time," explains Steven Kurtz, PhD, clinical director of ADHD and Disruptive Behavior Disorders at the NYU Child Study Center. (And kids this age need a lot of zzz's -- we're talking a whopping 12 hours a night for 3-year-olds.) Yes, it can sometimes be a pain to convince your child to get into bed and stay there all night long, but you're not doing her (or yourself) any favors by giving up. She'll just be overtired and even crankier the next day, and chances are you will be too!

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