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As the mother of 5, I have learned that when it comes to the subject of sleep, different children need different approaches­. Just as, food-wise, there are three-meal­-a-day folks and all-day grazers, my kids vary from highly scheduled sleepers to serial siesta-tak­ers. I make sure that, whichever they are, they do have a set wake-up time. I also make sure they know how to take 20-minute recharging naps. As to bed-time, they are free to go to bed when they are tired. I do admit to making late nights boring, and turning lights off throughout the house at a set time (coincidin­g with my own bedtime), but they are free to stay awake all night long, if they choose, provided they are up and ready in the morning at the pre-set time. Now, before you call this method something akin to child abuse, consider this: 1) Every child will be eager to try to stay up all night, whether or not you have a set bedtime. 2) If you take the parental disapprova­l out of it, you take away a lot of the... read more

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