If enforcing rules about staying in bed and going to sleep is difficult for you, you're not alone. Many parents have trouble dealing and coping with the sleep issue.
Part of the problem is our ambivalence about the break we get when our children are asleep. While we usually need that time to rest and regenerate, we often feel guilty about not wanting to be with our kids. Or if we don't see them much during the day, then we miss having them around. Either way, it can be difficult not to jump up and fulfill each and every nighttime request, including staying up a little later and sharing our beds.
It's also difficult to resist a vulnerable voice in the middle of the night when we might be tired or feeling sad or lonely. Even if it's not the best thing for our child, a quick midnight hug can make us feel much needed and loved.
Then there is the problem of fatigue: By 8 p.m. or so, most parents are tired. We've had a long day, our energy is waning, and conflict of any kind is difficult to deal with. The path of least resistance -- even if it means sitting in a dark room singing someone to sleep for three hours -- is often the most tempting route. Despite these roadblocks, there are ways to get better at handling your child's bedtime: