The bedtime pass may help parents establish a bedtime routine for children, as reported by WJCT.

But there is hope — and it comes in the form of a solution that is so simple, and thus far so successful, you will be smacking your forehead wondering, “Why didn’t I think of that?” (Sort of like me and that book.)

It’s called “the bedtime pass,” and it works like this: Every night, parents give their child a five-by-seven card that is the bedtime pass. They explain to their child that the pass is good for one excused departure from the bedroom per night, whether that’s to use the bathroom, get one more hug, report a scary dream, whatever. After the pass is used, the child may not leave the bedroom again, and the parents are not to answer if they call out.

That’s it.

“It really is that simple,” says Connie Schnoes, director of National Behavioral Health Dissemination at the Boys Town Center for Behavioral Health in Boys Town, Neb. “The bedtime pass is all about the kids falling asleep by themselves in their own bed in a quiet, dark room. It gets the parent in the routine of putting them to bed, saying goodnight, and getting out, which is what parents typically want.”

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