My daughter was the queen of the bedtime stall. And my grand niece and grand nephew? Well, their parents refer to bedtime as playing a game of whack-a-mole. I need a drink of water – just get that taken care of and BOOM! The other one needs to go to the bathroom one more time. Just as you tuck them back in bed, child 1 is up again with a tummy ache. Then I’m afraid of the dark, my nightlight is making scary shadows, I’m hot, I’m cold, my blanket is too soft, my pajamas are itchy, wait, those are my favourite pajamas. AHHHHHHH!!!!!!!
It’s like a big deja-vu moment when your own kid starts rattling off the same bedtime excuses you used back in 19-something-or-another, am I right? What these little stall-masters don’t understand is that you’re not clueless… you’re just too tired to argue. Turns out, the bedtime excuses are universal – more than 60% of parents around the globe are dealing with kids’ stall tactics before bed, adding up to nearly 20 minutes every single night. But guess what? It’s time to take back your night with a little help from Netflix.
HAVE YOU FALLEN VICTIM TO THE BEDTIME STALL? HERE ARE 5 TIPS TO AVOID BEDTIME STALLING TACTICS:
1) Make sure to leave plenty of time for getting ready for bed. Think about all those excuses your child uses and make sure to build in enough time to get one last drink of water, one last trip to the bathroom, and so on.
2) Involve your child in bedtime decisions. Give them choices of pajamas, blankets, cuddle toys, bedtime stories. This will help them feel a little more in control of the situation.
3) Have some special bedtime routines beyond the practical ones. Sure, they need to brush their teeth before bed but that’s likely not their favourite activity. Add in some pleasant moments to the routine! My dad used to sing me to sleep. With my daughter, she was allowed to choose one book (or one chapter of a book) and two songs for us to sing before bed. When she was really small, this took place in the rocking chair but as she grew, it moved to a cozy oversized armchair just perfect for the two of us.
4) Acknowledge that bedtime can be a time of anxiety for your child. They may be afraid of the dark, of monsters under the bed, or simply of being separated from you. At some stages in a child’s development, all the rational explanations in the world just aren’t going to work. Your child may just need a nightlight or light left on in the hallway. They may need you to spritz some monster spray around the room (with my daughter I used calming essential oils like lavender in our monster spray so it did double duty in helping her to calm down). When I was little, I went through a particularly anxious time and my parents let me pick out a BIG (almost as big as me) stuffed animal. Giving me something more substantial to hug than the typical size toy was a great help in allowing me to relax enough to sleep.
5) And here’s a really fun (and just a tiny bit sneaky) one! Next time you find yourself in the bedtime battle, just tell your kids they can watch an ENTIRE show before bed. Yep, you heard us right, and no, we haven’t lost our minds. Netflix and DreamWorks Animation launched Dinotrux Favorites, an entire episode of the latest hit all in a nice little 5-minute package — letting your little negotiator think they’re getting away with the age-old ‘just five more minutes’ ploy. So let them high-five all the live-long-day knowing you just pulled the greatest parenting stunt of all time. In a mere 300-seconds, your kids will be speechless as they march themselves up to bed knowing they got exactly what they wanted. You: 1, Kids’ stalls: 0.
BIG BUILD TARPIT RESCUE TORTOOL’S SURPRISE