Bending the rules

No matter what routine you choose, don't feel that you need to be absolutely rigid about its "enforcement." There will always be exceptions to the rule. When you travel, for example, you may have to change the routine while you're away and spend some time readjusting when you get home again. If your child has an experience that deeply upsets or worries her, such as the sickness or death of a family member or a pet, or if your family is going through a disruptive time with a separation or divorce, your child may be afraid to sleep alone. Give her whatever support she needs at night for one or two weeks to reassure her that you love her and recognize her worries. Then gradually encourage her to return to her sleep routine.

Regular and predictable routines, backed up with clearly stated expectations, will help your child gain more control of his sleep and can help all of you get more and better sleep. Helping a child learn to get himself to sleep is really not much different from helping him learn other new skills, such as walking, talking, dressing himself, and using the toilet. Your job is to wait until he's ready to learn, until he's

Parenting Teens Special Report

Parenting Teens Special Report

Top Parenting Teenagers Tips. Everyone warns us about the terrible twos, but a toddler does not match the strife caused once children hit the terrible teens. Your precious children change from idolizing your every move to leaving you in the dust.

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