Bedtime can be rough, and not just for the kids. Folks get cranky, it’s hard to get motivated, and kids rarely fall asleep as quickly as we want them to. (In their defense, many of us adults also struggle with that same issue.)

The reality is that bedtime is easier for some families than others, for lots of different reasons. If your kids have to share a room and one of them is a grunty sleeper, that can make things harder. If one of your children is on a medication that screws up their sleep, that’s going to make it harder. And if your kids are night owls, they might have a harder time going to sleep or waking up on the schedule you would prefer. (And yes, in case you were wondering, night owls and early birds are actually a real thing, and if you’re one and your kid is the other, well, that just stinks. I’m super sorry because it’s really damn hard to re-adjust your internal clock.)

The reason I mention all of this is not because you should be fixing it, but because it’s a good reminder to cut yourself a whole lotta slack. This parenting gig ain’t easy, especially when we’re exhausted.

Fortunately, there are choices you can make and habits you can develop that will make bedtime easier. Here are a few tips, all of which are relevant for parents and kids.

You can read the rest of this post on my Mindful Parenting blog on