Select Page

If you are married or in a serious relationship, you probably already know that there are nearly infinite topics couples argue about. While many couples are able to weather such arguments, other relationships begin to crumble and may head toward divorce. Some couples argue about money while others argue about sex or household chores. A new study shows that there is one topic that seems especially controversial in many marriages: when the children should go to bed.

The study from Penn State University has found that disagreements over children’s bedtime can lead to major tension in the marriage and can even lead to divorce. The researchers surveyed 167 mothers and 155 fathers about their child or children’s bedtime routine. The study found that mothers who believed young children should be tended to throughout the night had more tension and worse communication with the child’s father than other mothers. Couples also disagreed about how and when children should be put to sleep.

Frank & Honest Communication Can Prevent Disagreements Later in the Marriage

Author of the study, Jonathan Reader explains, “It’s important to have these conversations early and upfront, so when it’s 3 a.m. and the baby’s crying, both parents are on the same page about how they’re going to respond.” Many parents of infants or children are chronically overworked and exhausted. This can lead to even more strain on the marriage. Small arguments can snowball into huge disagreements or even fights when parents are weakened by a lack of sleep.

In order to avoid this common parenting pitfall, sleep expert Dr. Joki Mindell has some advice. Mindell suggests making slow and deliberate changes to the bedtime routine if it is not working for the parents. For example, if your infant cries as soon as she is put in the crib, try sitting next to her and patting her asleep for a few nights. Then start to slowly move further and further out the door over the next few nights. She also suggests using a nightlight with a timer which will help small children recognize when it is time to wake and when it is time to sleep.

Marriage Troubles?

Unfortunately, not all disagreements in a marriage can be solved. Some couples make the decision that living apart and no longer being married is the best thing for their child. If you are considering a divorce, our considerate and knowledgeable attorneys are here to help. Contact an experienced Kane County divorce lawyer and get the guidance you need today. Call 847-426-1866 or 630-945-8807 for a confidential consultation