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A bedtime routine can be as simple or as elaborate as need be.  It really depends on the child.  If your child takes more time to transition than others, create several steps for the bedtime preparation process. 

You alone can determine what works best for your child, but here are ideas you might want to try:

-Set a bedtime and be consistent.  If your child knows you will give in and let him stay up late three or four night each week, he will definitely do whatever he can to make you give in.  Once you establish a specific bedtime, make sure your child goes to bed at that time each night.  The only exception should be weekends, holidays, or special outings.  There should not be constant exceptions because a favorite show is on later or because your child simply does not feel like going to bed. 

-Start getting your child ready for bed earlier.  Turn down the lights, engage in only quiet activities, and start getting your child ready for bed at least half an hour before bedtime.  This will help your child relax and begin to slow down before bedtime arrives.  Many children have a difficult time going from a stimulating environment to a quiet one with no transition. 

-Let you child choose a bedtime activity.  Each night, read a story, sing a song, or watch a show or video together.  Let your child decide, but insist that the activity be performed with your child in bed under the covers.  If she refuses to get into bed or stay covered up, the activity is cancelled for that evening.  It won’t take too many times missing the activity for your child to realize that you mean business. 

Now, kiss your child goodnight and go enjoy the rest of your evening!