There are many factors contributing to your child's bedtime attitude. So many different personalities, every child is different. Some are geared to stay awake at night longer than others. Some are willing to go to bed with no resistance. Some resist greatly and some fall asleep before they get there. The initial step is knowing your child. If you try to fit your child's personality and physical makeup into something they are not, it won't be a good experience for anyone. Good structure is vital for every child's overall sense of security and working that into the bedtime routine can be a challenge.
1. The first thing to consciously work to achieve is a happy time just before bedtime. Many parents will read a bedtime story to help slow down activity and gear toward quiet and rest. The bedtime story, of course, should be one that is happy, and not a scary one. Nightmares are no fun for anyone. What a child thinks about just before bedtime, will be taken into their sleep consciousness.
2. Many have prayers they say with their children and this can be a real source of peace to the child, comforting them and reassuring them they are being cared for as they sleep and assuring them they are not alone in the nighttime hours.
3. A bedroom atmosphere contributes to subconscious sleep preparation. Are the furniture and colors in the room what they enjoy individually? How about the pictures on the walls, the decor, the color of the walls and floor? Take the bed linen. It can contribute to a happy sleep experience if it has designs that they like, for instance sheets and pillow cases or bedding sets with cars printed on them for boys and dolls or floral prints for girls. Cheerful colors in the bedding affect their attitude as well.
4. Is the bed itself comfortable? Is the mattress old and lumpy or is it one that the comfort level enhances a relaxed posture? Is the bed a place they can gravitate toward?
5. If the temperature of the room is kept cool, a cozy, warm down alternative comforter is an asset as it helps to slow down the metabolism as they warm up. A stuffed toy to snuggle up with stirs up the warm love-cuddle emotions. This is a mood well worth developing. Even before bedtime, it's always good to spend some time cuddling with them as a parent. Children normally respond well to 10 minutes of being held with hugs and kisses being lavished on them. And bedtime conversations of happy memories of what has happened during the day have a way of turning any negative feelings about bedtime into pleasant thoughts.
All things taken into account, one thing is missing. What about the parent? Does the parent need to prepare themselves ahead of time in order to bring to the child a healthy attitude for the child's sleep preparation? If the parent has had a rough day, it's much too easy to send the child off to bed, sending little or no positive emotions with them.
So whether a child heads off to bed cheerfully or grumpy, restless or peaceful, a parent's underlying attitude is caught and most likely adapted into the child's own attitude. While all the other conditions in the bedroom environment contribute to a peaceful night's rest, probably the most important condition is the positive, loving attitude of the parent.