If your home is like so many others across the country and beyond, the days may start out great, but the end of the days can be a real challenge. Everything from getting kids to sit quietly and watch TV without arguing to brush their teeth and go to bed without whining can be a challenge. As a parent, you may be fatigued and worn out from your own busy day, and dealing with whining, unhappy kids can be difficult to do. You want nothing more than get the kids to bed without a hassle so that you can unwind and relax before you retire for the evening.
Why Kids Whine in the Evening
There are many reasons why kids may whine more during the evening hours than they do during other times of the day. Some may be coming down with an illness, but most who regularly whine during this time of day do so because they are stressed out and fatigued. You may not believe that your kids had as difficult and exhausting of a day as you did. However, the fact is that kids have their own stresses and pressures. They can become worn out just as you can. They, however, often lack the ability to know when they have had enough. Rather than tell you that they need downtime to relax or that they are ready for bed, they will whine, fuss, argue and cry. Understanding why evenings are so difficult in your house can help you to better cope with your kids’ behavior.
Each child is different, so each of your children may have a preferred way to spend time in the evening. You may need to experiment in different ways to find what works for them. Some kids may want to do nothing more than veg out and relax in front of the TV or the computer. Others may want to read a good book or curl up next you for some cuddling time. Take time to learn more about what makes your kids happen on an individual basis in the evening. Rather than mandate a certain evening ritual for all of your kids, you may consider allowing each one to customize their evening ritual so that they can most easily relax and unwind in their own.
Some days are more exhausting than others, and this is true for kids too. On days when your kids seem particularly worn out, by all means, put them to bed a few minutes earlier. It may be a struggle to get your kids to bed early tonight, but your whole house will be a happier place tomorrow when your kids are rested and relaxed. If your evenings continue to be a constant struggle, consider implementing an across-the-board earlier bedtime for everyone in your family. Even going to bed 15 or 30 minutes earlier can have a big impact on how rested everyone will feel the following day.
Here are a few other articles written by this author:
How Positive is Your Parenting?
Helping Your Kids Through Fights with Friends
Kids and Friend Drama: When to Step In