The New Discipline Rules: Advice from Parent Coaches

My kid refuses to go to bed.

Coach's Playbook

Cassani Adams: You might try telling your child that you'll come into her room up to three times, but after that she needs to go to sleep on her own. To reinforce the idea, tape three pieces of paper to her wall, and remove one each time she calls for you. Within a few nights, she'll start cooperating.

Dr. O'Brien: State firmly, "It's time for bed. Here are two books. Which one do you want Mommy to read before I turn out the light?" Don't ask open-ended questions, such as "Are you tired?" That invites negotiation.

Wolf: Be consistent with your child's routine. Give her a bath at the same time every night, and play, read, and cuddle in the same order. That should help prepare her for bedtime. And if it doesn't, try turning the TV off after dinner. Watching television may seem like a soothing activity, but it actually makes kids' brains more alert.

DeMars: If your child keeps getting up, calmly put him back to bed. Say something like, "You've got a playdate tomorrow, and if you get a good night's sleep, you'll have a lot more fun." If he's old enough, try to explain why sleep is so important: "When you get enough rest, your brain feels better, and it helps your body grow."

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