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How to Navigate Bed Time Tantrums


After a day filled with household chores, helping kids with their homework, taking them to basketball practice, examining scrapes and cuts on knees, acting as a referee for their quarrels, and helping them with school projects, you’ve pretty had it by the end of the evening.

You would just like to rest your feet on the couch, catch up on a TV show and call it a night. But, as a mother, you know very well that a task harder than all the tasks you did today, put together is awaiting you; PUTTING THE KIDS TO BED!

Just when you are ready to put on your pajamas and call it a night is when your child has a sudden burst of energy and then they start giving you a hard time in going to bed. Either they refuse to go to sleep, keep coming to your bed, asking for water or bedtime stories repeatedly, or worse, throw a bedtime tantrum.

Dealing with bedtime tantrums can become increasingly frustrating for parents because they have to deal with a power struggle when their own energy is at its lowest. Not to mention, that ending the day on such a note can affect the quality of sleep the parents and the children are getting. We know that getting lesser sleep isn’t good for anyone.

So, try three of the following techniques to help you make bedtime a little less daunting and a better daily experience for you and your children.


Establish a bedtime routine

I can’t emphasize enough the importance of routines in a child’s life. Children need structure and they need proper schedules and guidance to learn what needs to be done at what time. Set up a bedtime routine with your child so they know that it’s nearly time for bed. This would include cleaning up, getting things ready for the next day, taking a bath, brushing their teeth, listening to a bedtime story, etc., and doing all of this at the same time every evening. This will slowly train their sleep cycle and bedtime will no longer come as a surprise to them, so they will be able to handle it in a more positive way.


Shut off all screens

Maybe you used to watch TV as a child before dozing off to bed and it helped you relax but newer research shows that any kind of screen time before bed actually delays sleep in children. It’s best to shut off TVs, tablets, phones, video games and laptops at least 2 hours before a child (or adult) is meant to go to sleep. And, it’s equally important to keep an eye on what your child watches during the day to avoid scary, violent shows or news channels that might interfere with when and how they sleep. Try calm and relaxing activities to avoid overstimulation such as reading and meditation to help them wind down.


Get to the root of the problem

Think about it. Your child has been on the go since morning. School alone should have left them extremely tired and ready for some shut-eye. But, why aren’t they going to sleep? Why are they throwing a bedtime tantrum, refusing to go to bed when they should be begging you to let them rest? There is always a reason for any behaviour your child has and you need to figure out why they are resisting bedtime.

Maybe they are afraid at night, maybe they feel anxious about something happening at school, maybe they are taking long afternoon naps and maybe they are just not developmentally ready to sleep in their own room yet.
Get to the root of the problem by talking to them and find out what they are feeling before using any strategy.

What You Can Do Next?


1. Subscribe to our Newsletter

Get the latest information for parenting tips to help you create happier families. Plus, when you subscribe, I’ll also send you a copy of our FREE Survival Guide To Bring Balance and Calm Back To Your Home. Just be sure to add us to your safe senders list. tenille@emotionalliteracyacademy.com and keep an eye in your junk box in case it lands there.

2. Register for my FREE Training (for children 5 – 9yrs)

Register for my free training, ‘How To Bring Peace and Calm To Your Home & Help Support Your Child’s Emotions Without Resorting To Yelling”.

I will support you in some easy tips to help you and your family, as well as provide you with some potential solutions in a free strategy session.

You will get some great information but also if there is a fit you will be offered a spot in our Masterclass 6 Month Program.




Internationally Recognised Emotional Literacy & Mindfulness Expert Tenille Bentley is the founder of The Emotional Literacy and Mindfulness Academy and the author of the children’s emotional literacy books with Jazzy and Pinky and The Energy Ball. Giving children a wonderful introduction to understanding their emotions and what to do with them.

Tenille has been featured on Channel 9 News and other major outlets. Her work has been recognised in the community by The Governor of Western Australia, The Prime Minister of Australia and Australian Financial Review.

As a child, she experienced severe anxiety and emotional traumas as well as bullying which left her feeling isolated and unable to understand why she was feeling the way she did. As an adult this impacted her ability to make healthy decisions because she didn’t have the tools to understand her emotions. 

This is why she is passionate about equipping parents with the tools to support their children to make better decisions in life and healthy ones to help support and create a balanced home life.