Child LoveOne way to ensure that your child can perform well academically and behave properly at school and at his or her after school program is to see that he or she gets enough sleep at night. As a parent, you may remember not wanting to go to bed but when you are the one who needs to get someone to sleep, it is easy to lose patience. On the Empowering Parents Website, James Lehman, MSW goes through several reasons children might not want to go to bed: thinking they will miss out on something fun, fear of the dark/sleep, and the desire to be in control. Lehman counsels against making bedtime a power struggle:

"The focus should be on your child learning how to manage himself through meeting his responsibilities and not on your child learning to manage you through power plays."

Parents need to set things up so a frustrated younger child will not begin to act out. This is not to say that acting out will never happen but you can minimize it by setting the stage for bedtime. Help your child wind down with quieter activities or TV programs and DVDs. It helps if the whole house is mellow because if parents or other siblings are engaged in noisy activities, it will be difficult for your young child to get calm.

Lehman points out that it is not too hard for older children to go to their bedrooms since many of them will already be in their rooms talking and texting with friends. The difficulty lies in getting them to actually go to sleep. For those teens, Lehman recommends removing electronics if they are getting the way of sleep. You can remove them from the room permanently or take the cell phone or video game controller away as bedtime nears. This may also be a power struggle and this is where rewards and consequences come in. If your older child can get up on time and perform well in school, you might ease up on your restriction of electronics but if not, the restrictions remain.

photo credit:goatling