MOVING BEDTIME EARLIER
Starting school is often very draining for children. If your child is about to start Kindergarten in 2018 then now is the perfect time to move their bedtime forward, to help them adjust to their new environment.
Daycare or preschool tends to focus more on play-based activities whilst school tends to involve more structured learning activities with less play. As children need to concentrate for longer periods of time than they may be used to, they tend to be extra tired in the first few weeks (or months) of starting Kindy.
When my son began Kindergarten a year ago he really struggled with the transition from preschool to Kindy. He was just so tired by the afternoon and was refusing to do any of the tasks the teacher asked of him. He would scrunch up his worksheet and try to hide it somewhere in the classroom. Most afternoons he would fall asleep in the car within a minute of leaving the school.
We determined that the only solution was to move his bedtime earlier, but this task was easier said than done. We needed to move bedtime an hour earlier, both for him and our other two younger children. The whole dinner, shower, reading, sleep routine was a 2 hour process for us so it was not going to be easy. The first two nights we simply tried putting the kids to bed an hour earlier. This definitely did not work. Their body clocks were unable to adjust a whole hour. The kids were wide awake, kept asking us to read more books and after we left the room they all got out of bed and wanted to play! They dragged the time out until it was even later than the usual bedtime! My husband and I were exhausted.
We then thought to take a more gradual approach. For one week straight we started the bedtime process 15 minutes earlier than usual. The following week we moved the bedtime a further 15 minutes earlier, and then a further 15 minutes earlier for each of the two weeks after that, until 4 weeks later we had finally accomplished moving bedtime an hour earlier. Phew! What a relief!
And… the reward for us… within 2 weeks of bringing forward bedtime, my son’s teachers commented on the improvement they’d seen in our son’s class participation.
What a difference a bit of extra sleep can make.