Some days, the bedtime struggle is real. Depending on the age of your child, you’ve probably been through many phases of rebellion tempered with sweetness (how do they do that!?) that make you want to simultaneously laugh and pull your hair out. Some kids dread their nightly bedtime ritual, while others hate it. For some, it may just depend on the day of the week. Whatever your child’s position on their nightly routine, here are some tips to help you both enjoy it more.
You’re never too old to enjoy playing pretend. By simply engaging your child in a fun activity, you’ll probably cut down on time and tantrums. We’ve all tried rationalizing with a two year old and it simply doesn’t work. Instead, try pretending to be a pirate and go on a treasure hunt for toothpaste to get rid of your pirate teeth so the beautiful princess will love you. It’s silly, but your child will enjoy it much more than a lengthy explanation about why, for the hundredth time, they just need to brush their teeth because mommy and daddy said so.
If your child responds well to rewards (aka bribery), that’s great! You could also add a bonus incentive for them remembering it’s time to brush their teeth on their own. Whether it’s a sticker chart, a treasure chest, or a weekend adventure, it’s great to make brushing their teeth a positive thing for everyone. Less headache for you, more positive reinforcement for them.
This should be done sparingly but letting your kids race to see who can brush their teeth first might inspire some healthy competition in your kids. Just make sure to keep it fair and if one kid is always losing (i.e. the younger sibling), you may want to rig the race a bit. Keep it light and fun so your kids don’t feel bad, turning brushing into a negative experience instead.
What tips and tricks do you have for helping your kids brush their teeth effectively? Share your ideas in the comments section below!
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