For our kids, nighttime might have been particularly scary. Our kids’ hard stories might include: sexual abuse at night, hearing their parents’ aggression towards each other at night, being left alone in the house at night, or seeing frequent visitors to their home at night for drugs or prostitution.
A child who suddenly becomes hyperactive, aggressive, or shows other strange behaviors as you begin your bedtime routine, is likely showing you that this time of day is particularly scary and hard for him. He might not be able to tell you this with words, he will just show you
Likewise, most of our kids did not have a bedtime routine so your desire for them to follow along in your routine is going to take a lot of practice.
So, start with empathy, understanding, and patience. Build extra time into your evening routines to accommodate these challenges. And try these sleep tips to help the child in your home experience felt-safety at night.