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End Bedtime Battles

Why adding an element of play can make troublesome tasks like hair and tooth brushing simple – and fun – again.

by: Jennifer Kolari

In This Article
    

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s parents we often talk at our kids, telling them to stop doing something or to do something we want them to do. In reality we should be talking to them and not just correcting behavior or directing them all the time. The solution? Have a little fun.

Using strategies such as play, distraction, humor, games or contests to motivate your little one can make once troublesome tasks a breeze. Here’s how to ease morning and nighttime rituals, and make getting ready for school and bedtime fun again:

How to make hair brushing less horrible

For little girls with long hair, a hair brush can seem like a torture device, bringing about crying and screaming. “You’re hurting meeee!” and “Stop it!” are common refrains. These daily fits can be so exhausting it can sometimes seem better just to leave your daughter with hair that looks like a bird’s nest.

Parents can often resort to angry threats that we’re going to take her to the hairdresser and have it cut short. What you need to do is stay neutral (and use a good de-tangler). Imaginary play can also make all the difference. You might, for example, ask your child to pretend she’s a princess and you are a friendly ogre, or a nice witch, who has to brush her hair to undo a spell. When you add an element of play you’ll be surprised at how much easier hair brushing can become.

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Ending bath-time and tooth-brushing... >>