'They are pulling us in and pulling out all the stops and asking for everything... because they're looking for that extra connection,' she explains.
The struggle to put kids to sleep is a real one. Parents try their best to tire out their children with games and activities so that they just sleep at night. However, it doesn't always work. Sometimes kids still have a lot of energy left by bedtime and they want to continue their playtime. In many cases, the little ones throw tantrums when asked to go to bed even if they are tired. Parents are always looking for better, quieter, easier and less stressful ways to put their children to sleep at night so that they themselves can get some rest at the end of the day.
One such troubled mom, @annaleegrace15, expressed her frustration in a TikTok video. "Why is it so hard to put your kids to sleep at night?" she asks in the video that's captioned: "Please tell me there are some other moms and dads out there who feel me tonight."
Sleep specialist and parent coach, Cayla Solomon (@officialsleepingbeauties), responded to Annalee's video saying, "Because bedtime is a conflict of interest between your needs and your child's needs.”
In her video, Solomon goes on to elaborate on what she means by that. “By the time bedtime rolls around, we as parents are like, ‘You need to go the hell to sleep.’ And so, we enter bedtime a little bit stressed, a little bit anxious, maybe a little bit on the edge when we really need to push them to get into bed and just go to sleep so we can have some time for ourselves," she explains.
However, for children, bedtime means something completely different. Solomon says, "Our kids on the other hand, get to bedtime and they're like, ‘Wait, I spent all day at school or with a nanny or with a grandparent or a daycare, and now I have like two hours before bed to, like, reconnect with my parents, get all that connection that I need in, and then I have to go to bed which is the biggest separation of my day.’”
“As soon as we go to put them into bed, we're asking them for somewhere between 10 and 12 hours where they are alone in a dark room without any connection to anything whatsoever,” she explains in the video.
She adds, “And so at bedtime, we are pushing them away. We're like, ‘Just go to sleep.’ And they are pulling us in and pulling out all the stops and asking for everything under the moon and the stars just to get us to stay with them longer because they're looking for that extra connection.”
The sleep expert says that if this is happening repeatedly there are two things specifically that parents need to do. Solomon advises, “Look for opportunities in the hours leading up to bedtime where you can add an additional connection with your child.”
Solomon continues, “Be as patient as you can during the bedtime routine, knowing that the more stressed and anxious and uptight you are, the more they're going to think something's wrong and the more they're going to want to connect to you because they connect through that attachment and needing to be close to you.”
Solomon's video went viral with about 747k views and is captioned: "Bedtime is a conflict of interests between parents and kids. It's the reason they pull out all the stops to keep us with them, and the reason we are ready to pull out our hair when they won't just. Go. To. Sleep."
Some parents who stay with their kids at home asked why they are unable to put their kids to sleep easily. @loveoneanother commented, "Okay but what about us who literally spend all day with our kids in an intentional connecting way and they still don’t wanna go." @annalydecker wrote, "Look... I hear you, but I really don’t think it’s fair to assume I’m not connecting with my kids. Especially on the weekends when we have wonderful family days spent together out and about connecting. And then we don’t do screen time. And then they still struggle. It could be a million different things."
Responding to this comment, Solomon wrote: "Agreed! There could be a million reasons in addition to connection - daytime schedule, sensory needs, temperament, etc. even if you DO spend a ton of time connecting, it’s still a time where we’re asking for a lot of separation. Some kids are more sensitive to it than others (mine included)."
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Some also shared their own experiences. @uraniumania expressed, "I make my kids tell me bedtime stories when they go to sleep. It makes them talk, be imaginative and bond with me. After that they accept sleep." @unitednationsss shared, "I always lay and snuggle with my son. We have bedtime talks. Sometimes we lay and watch a movie before actual bedtime."
Every parent has a different way to navigate their children's bedtime. However, what matters the most—like Solomon said—is that they feel connected to their parents.