With older children, 3 and up, you can discuss how important sleep is with them. Tell them how much more fun they will have the next day after they get a good night sleep. You can also tell them if you get a good nights sleep, you will be happier the next day and have more energy to play with them.
Tell them that the body fixes itself at night and does some growing which is why it is so important for them to go to bed at a reasonable hour and sleep until the morning.
I usually recommend a clock that changes color in the morning if your child cannot tell time. Here is my favorite clock (and the one my 5 & 7 year olds use):
Here are are some other Kid’s Alarm Clocks.
Sticker Charts can also work well with older children.
Get your children involved in making bedtime restful too. Sit down with them and see what they would like to see at bedtime and decide what you can do to remove power struggles. Is it hard to get your child to brush their teeth? See if you can do it earlier in the routine.
How much sleep does your child need?
A 3 year old needs around 10.5 hours of sleep at night and a 1.5 hour nap
A 4 year old needs 11.5 hours of sleep at night, and some still take naps.
A 5 year old needs 11 hours of sleep at night.
6, 7, and 8 year olds need between 10 1/4 to 10 3/4 of sleep at night.
A 9 year old needs 10 hours of sleep at night.
Also, check out this website for fun coloring pages to help your children learn the importance of sleep: http://www.sleepforkids.org/.
Thanks for reading!
By Michelle Winters