Why You Need a Set of Family Sleep Rules
When someone in the family isn’t sleeping well, it can affect everyone in the home. And while it’s one thing for babies and toddlers to have some trouble with sleep and bedtime, it’s another thing when your school-aged children are consistently having difficulty.
That’s why I think it’s a great idea to talk about and establish a few Family Sleep Rules. If you’re struggling with sleep or bedtime, this info will help you with knowing when you need a set of Family Sleep Rules, how to make them and there’s even a helpful printable to get you started!
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Signs You May Need Your Own Family Sleep Rules
Everyone has an off night and a bad dream here and there. But if your school-aged child consistently can’t get to sleep by themselves, has trouble sleeping through the night without waking up, often resists bedtime or is clingy at bedtime, it may be time for you to hold a family meeting and establish a set of sleep rules.
How to Make Them
Here are a few steps you can take to make the process light and fun, while still letting your kids know it’s something to take seriously.
- Call a family meeting so you can collaborate on the rules together. This way, your kids will feel like they’re a part of the decision, are less likely to feel like they’re being scolded and are more likely to follow through on them.
- Start with an easy decision – like what the most appropriate time is for them to be asleep or to try and fall asleep at.
- Then set boundaries that are important to you and write them down. For example, you can have your child promise things like, “After lights out, I promise not to get back out of bed” (you can set your own rules around when they are allowed to get up. For example, to go to the bathroom, etc.). And as a parent, you can promise things like “I promise to check on you after lights out if you’re quiet.”
- Incorporate tools that can help. Sleep tools like alarm clocks or bedtime routine charts can help keep your family’s new sleep rules on track and make them super easy for your child to follow.
If you’re looking for inspiration, here’s a printable sample contract that you can download that I’ve put together that you and your kids can talk about and sign. It can be a lot of fun to create your own together though.
With a bit of time, a lot of consistency and a good dose of fun, you can get everyone’s sleep back on track and focus on family fun.
Alanna McGinn is a Certified Sleep Consultant and Founder of Good Night Sleep Site – a Global Pediatric and Family Sleep Team. She provides free child and family sleep support through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. She invites you to join her sleep community as she works towards Good Night Sleep Site’s mission of a healthier rested family unit. For more sleep tips, subscribe to our newsletter and visit Good Night Sleep Site.