When Your Child Refuses to Go to Bed: 10 Tips for a Peaceful Bedtime Routine

Contributed by: Terry Matlen, ACSW

There are many studies that show the difficulties children with ADHD - and their parents- face at bedtime. Typically, the child's ADHD medication has worn off, causing his symptoms to reappear, often with a vengeance. As he becomes more hyperactive and impulsive, his body needs just the opposite: rest!

What is a parent to do?

10 Tips for Getting Your Child to Bed
  1. Insist that all electronics and other stimulating toys and activities stop one hour before bedtime.
  2. Have a schedule and stick to it with rare exceptions. Post the schedule (in more than one place). For younger children, use diagrams or pictures from magazines.
  3. Clearly state each step of the bedtime routine:
    • What time the child must stop playing
    • Any chores needed to be done (i.e. putting toys away)
    • Snack time, if needed
    • Wash up, brush teeth, shower
    • Change into pajamas
    • Lights out

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