How To Get Kids To Sleep

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Are you wondering how to get your kid to sleep? That's what we'll talk about today

at Live On Purpose TV.

So one of the most common things that parents get concerned

about is how to get their kids to whatever, I mean you can fill in the

blanks here. Now notice something, usually the things that concern a parent the

most are things that they don't experience a lot of control over, right?

How to get your kid to sleep for example or to eat or to stop crying or stop

whining or begging. Okay, these are all things that parents don't have a lot of

control over because the kid controls it. So we're going to go back to a basic

concept first off and then I'll give you some practical ideas a little later in

the video but let's go to the philosophy first, control battles. What are we going to

do about these control battles? I have three rules for you. Rule number one,

avoid them. Don't get into a control battle if you don't have to, alright?

I think you have to decide before you march up some hill whether you're

willing to die on that hill and I know that's melodramatic but think about

picking your battles very carefully. There's a whole lot of things you don't

need to get into a control battle over. So consider that first, avoid them.

Rule number two, if you can't avoid them, win them, alright? I got your back on

this. I want you to win whatever control battle you get into and incidentally if

I'm talking to kids, I tell them the same thing.

I'm sorry, parents, but I'm telling kids also, don't get into a control battle

with your parents that you can't win. They don't even need that much help with

it because kids naturally know this rule and they won't get into a struggle with

you over something that they can't win. Interesting. Let's use that to our

advantage, okay? So we got two rules so far, avoid them, not your kids, the power

struggles, okay? Avoid the power struggles, don't get into them if you don't have to.

Number two, if you do get into a power struggle, make sure that you win it.

Number three, you do that by picking the issues. You pick the issues and this way,

you can always pick something that you control. You're with me? So that will help

enormously. In another video, that you can link to right up here, we talked

about a strategy that I think is going to help here. Let's review it very

quickly. You always want to give your child two choices, alright. Do you

remember this from the other video? You want to give them two choices and you as

a parent, are okay with either one. Why is that important? Because if you give them

two choices and you like one and don't like the other, guess which one they're

going to pick, right? Because it's a control thing, right? Give them two choices, you're

okay with either one and you control one of them, now that's important because

that one becomes default. Sometimes when we give our kids two choices, they want

to pick door number three, right? Something that wasn't even on the list

to start with. So you're going to give them two choices you're okay with either

one and you control one of them because that one becomes default and if they

choose not to choose or if they try to pick door number three, then they just

picked this one, the one that you control. Okay, so you've got the rules for a

control battle and we've reviewed this strategy about give them two choices,

you're okay with either one, you control one of those. Now let's go back to our

topic. How do you get your kids to sleep or to eat or to do one of these other

things that's in their control, not yours? Sleeping for example, this is something

that kids control, you cannot make a child sleep, they get to choose if

they're going to avoid it or resist it, have you noticed? So this is something

that's in their control partially and I say partially because sleep is one of

those things that's going to happen eventually. They

can't stay awake forever so when you choose to engage with your child on this,

you want to give them two choices that you're okay with and you control one of

them, go to sleep or not go to sleep or not the two choices we're talking about,

okay, because you don't control that and maybe you're not okay with with one or

the other so let's just set this up in a scenario. Your child is resisting

going to sleep, okay, you give them a choice. If you are quiet and I don't hear

you and the lights are off, then the door can be opened. If I can hear you then the

door will be closed. A lot of kids want to have the door open. Are you okay

with either way? Sure you are. Which one do you control? Yeah, you control whether

it's open or closed or not. So they can choose by their behavior. Now think

about it, if they're quiet and they're peacefully lying there in their bed, do

you care if they're sleeping? Now honestly, I mean get to the core of that

because if you really still care about it then maybe you are control freaking and

you need to watch another video that we did about control freaks. Be clear about

what your preference is but then acknowledge that you don't control it

and give them the choice. Now here's a couple of things that can help with the

sleep, having a routine in place is often very helpful so it's not just you know,

we're doing all of our stuff and then boom, it's time you go to bed. No, you have

some kind of a routine that the child can reasonably anticipate and prepare

for the sleep experience whether they sleep or not is up to them we've already

talked about that. But what if you have a routine and most parents do, you know,

where you you do the tooth brushing and you do get on the PJ's and you do the

bedtime story and you've got some kind of a routine that's reasonably

consistent and that child knows, oh, this is preparing us for at the end of this

routine, it is sleep time, meaning quiet time, peaceful time, lights out time,

whether they sleep or not is up to them. We're just going to

relinquish control over the sleep, okay. It will happen but we'll create the

biggest opportunity and potential for that to happen through the routine.

I would highly recommend that this routine is something that is pleasant that

everyone anticipates with some level of not excitement so much but a kind of a

peaceful anticipation if you can get behind that kind of an idea where it's

setting the stage for the sleep to happen.

Now remember at this point, we're not going to get into a power struggle over whether

they're sleeping or not so don't get into this trap of go to sleep, it's time

to go to sleep. In fact, as you do that, it makes it less likely that they're going to

go to sleep because they're engaging in this power struggle that they can win so

we completely get away from that. Give them two choices, you can go to sleep or

not go to sleep, either way is okay with me. If you're quiet and peaceful and the

lights are out and I can't hear you, then we'll leave the door open like you

prefer it. If I can hear you, we're going to close that door.

Now a little note about consistency, okay. I was in Las Vegas for a conference not

too long ago and you know how those Las Vegas hotels have these big casinos and

people are in there putting coins into slot machines all day long. If someone

puts a coin into a slot machine and nothing happens, what do they do next?

They put another coin in. Why? Because sometimes that thing will pay off. This

is what we call in behavioral psychology, an intermittent schedule of

reinforcement, it actually increases the person's behavior so if they don't get

what they want, they just try again and they just try again and they just try

again. Have you ever seen somebody at a vending machine? A whole different

machine, right. A vending machine that doesn't give them what they want. What do

they do next? They don't put another quarter in, they go complain to the

management because this thing's broken, right? Think about the difference of

behavior between the slot machine and a vending machine, which one have

been with your kids? And if they continuously test you and try you, it may

be that because in the past, you were more of a slot machine and sometimes you

pay off and sometimes you don't and sometimes you pay off. So they're going to

keep playing you as the case were. To be consistent is more like the vending

machine and so when they try to get what they want and you don't pay them off,

they're like, oh, guess that doesn't work. Totally different response. We'll do some

other videos about the consistency and how to establish that as a parent but

hopefully those ideas will get you going on. How to get your kids to sleep.

So there you have it, some of these things we really don't control very much but

hopefully that gives you a few pointers. I think that this might be helpful for

someone you know. Would you please share it with them?