Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Building Better Bedtimes

I remember the days when my children didn't want to go to bed at all, let alone settle down and go to sleep once they were there. We always got an early start with the pajamas, teeth-brushing and bedtime stories, because inevitably would come the stalling: "Can I have some water? I'm thirsty!" "I have to go to the bathroom!"

After about the fiftieth time, you just start bringing them a water with the bedtime story, and then make them go potty.

And of course the room can't be too dark, but the night-light can't be in their eyes, and close the closet door, but leave the bedroom door open and, and, and!

Now that my boys are older, bedtimes are much more relaxed. Pajamas are a thing of the past. Most summer days find them in the pool until just before bedtime, so they just sleep in their clean under-clothes after they've read for a while.

Boys being boys, we still have to monitor that they've actually, really, truly, in fact brushed their teeth, of course.

Moms nowadays, though, they have it easy.

Of COURSE I'm just kidding!

But you new Moms do get some help: Colgate-Palmolive and RIF (Reading is Fundamental) are bringing back an award-winning program from last year, "Healthy Bedtime Habits for a Lifetime."

You can log on over at Colgate Healthy Habits for lots of helpful tools for building healthy bedtime habits with your kids, like a Bedtime Rituals log with a customizable theme to track hand-washing, teeth-brushing and the like. Families compete for points by filling out their logs each week, and they can win fun rewards. There's an interactive message board for parents to share ideas for making bedtime easier. For the first time this year, the Colgate team has added an online storybook feature that lets your kids star in a book all about healthy habits, along with characters like Dr. Rabbit, Riffington and Handy the Octopus. And you even have a chance at winning books for your elementary schools library, with the Library Gift valued at around $1000!

Last year, more than 55,000 families participated in the program, and this campaign earned a Gold Halo Award from the Cause Marketing Forum.

Since 2004, Colgate-Palmolive has contributed more than 58,000 books to more than 82,000 children in need through its partnership with RIF.

Now, if they could just find a way to let us Moms get more sleep, we'd have it made!

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