Parenting and Children
Deal or No Deal

How do you deal with bedtime stalling techniques?


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2010-01-13 06:56:59
2010-01-13 06:56:59
Advice from the Q&A community:Set routine is keyThe thing that worked for me was to have a set routine. At a set time (depending on the age) my children had their baths/showers, got their pajamas on and went to their beds with a book. Half an hour later,lights out! When they were small, either their father or I read them a story. I found cutting off the TV, (or now it is video games probably) at a set time was very helpful. If your child knows that 8:30 or whatever you deem is appropriate is bedtime, period -- no debating, he will be more likely to cooperate. If not there should be consequences, like making bedtime ten minutes earlier or something similar. Obviously one needs to make adjustments according to the age of the child. But, kids are kids and their main purpose is to drive us (supposedly) adults bonkers. Offering a choiceAfter my children have tried to stall bedtime more than once, I simply say, "You have a choice: You can go to bed now with no more excuses, or you can go to bed 15 minutes earlier tomorrow night." It gives them a choice so that they feel some control over the situation, and yet it gets the job done!

I would stress how effective giving this "choice" can be. Depending on their age, the child does not understand that they really aren't given a choice, per say. But by making them think that it's up to them whether they suffer consequences or not, they are more likely to respond by doing exactly what they're supposed to do, but not really understanding that they're doing it. Again, stress that, "It's not up to me. YOU decide. It's your choice whether you go to bed 10 min. or an hour earlier tomorrow. Fight about bedtime tonight if you want, it's your choice, but tomorrow you'll be sorry."

RemindersYou should point out that they are stalling, and that it is bedtime *right now*. Another option to add on is to remind them that (fill in with stalling technique) can be done tomorrow.

Red Skelton once said, "Any kid will run any errand for you, if you ask at bedtime."


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