The homework’s been done.  Dinner’s been cooked.  The dishes are waiting for you in the sink.  The kids are fighting with everything in them against the inevitable.  What’s that?  You already know: bedtime!  It’s that time of night when kids magically love to clean or need to spend five more minutes with their dog or would happily share their toys if it meant pushing bedtime off for another hour.
So how do you make bedtime a bearable time of the day?  How do you get kids into their beds in a timely manner and with as much quality time as possible?  We’ve got a couple of ideas!
Bedtime Routines:
If you’re feeling ambitious, think about creating a bedtime routine chart.  It can be as simple as you want it to be or as intricate as you need it to be.  We suggest listing all bedtime routine tasks in chronological order to get your kids started into bedtime by themselves.  Below are a few routine tasks:

  1. Pajamas
  2. Quiet play or reading
  3. Brush teeth
  4. Drink water
  5. Use the bathroom
  6. Bedtime story
  7. Cuddles + goodnight hugs
  8. Lights out

When you first start instilling a bedtime routine, use incentives to encourage your kiddos.  It can be something as simple as a sticker chart or as intangible as thirty more minutes of TV time during the day.  Make sure you always praise your kids when they go to bed without a fuss.  This will encourage them to keep up the good work!
Above all, be consistent.  Keep bedtime at the same time every night, from start to finish.  Make sure your kids are getting the proper amount of sleep for their ages and that routines are kept short enough to ensure lots of good sleep!