Do you dread initiating the start of the bedtime routine in anticipation of non-compliance or other problem behavior?  If so, you're not alone!  Try starting the bedtime routine earlier than normal so putting PJ's on isn't correlated with going to bed right away.  Try engaging your child in a preferred activity (i.e., movie).  Interrupt the activity (i.e., pause movie) and indicate more access can be earned but first PJ's need to be put on (ex: "We can watch more Toy Story but first put on PJ's."). 

Once PJ's are on, the child can resume the activity that was in progress. This will change the sequence of events and the negative correlation with PJ's going on and going to bed.  Avoid activities that elevate your child's motor activity in the 30-60 mn prior to bedtime, such as running, jumping, spinning, tickling or other gross motor, rough house play. Target calming activities in soft or low light setting, such as reading books, conversing with your child, building with Legos/Duplos, puzzles, etc.   This is but one of many other strategies that could be employed to decrease bedtime resistance and bedtime refusal.  

If you're experiencing frequent, daily rates of non-compliance, temper tantrums, self-injurious behavior or severe aggression or disruptive behavior (i.e., property destruction, biting, hitting), you're encouraged to first seek professional assistance from a board certified behavior analyst or other professional competent in behavioral interventions to assist you in safely reducing problem behaviors in your home. 

 


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