If you want to cause mayhem in our household all you have to say is “Time for bed.” Those three, simple, little words can cause instant hunger, thirst and the manifestation of all kinds of vague physical ailments that didn’t exist ten seconds before. Or they all suspiciously run off to bed without argument and I discover this:
Evey is the queen of bedtime drama. She can read the mood of a room with expert precision and knows just what excuse to use on any given evening.
- The first stall is always the “I forgot I was supposed to be getting ready” excuse – understandable of course because it’s a long, long ten feet from the family room to her bedroom and plenty of time to forget what you were supposed to be doing in there.
- This is often followed by the sudden interest in tooth brushing that can take 20 mins +
- Then we have the ‘can’t find matching PJ tops & bottoms’ closely followed by ‘can’t decide which stuffy to cuddle.’
- Brothers out at cadets or football? – “I need to stay up so I can kiss Joshua / James goodnight.”
- No TV on and everyone quiet & relaxed? – “Can I have another cuddle first?”
- Watching some TV together? – “Oh, just one more episode please.”
- Already tried one stall tactic? – “But I’m soooooo hungry.”
- And of course, there is always “But I love you & just want to stay here with you”
but by far the best excuses have been the creative one-off’s such as
- “I think there is a dragon in my bed, so there’s no room for me”
- “There’s no point going to bed because Gabe snores & I won’t sleep.”
- “I always wake up again in the morning so why bother sleeping?”
- “My night light is making funny sounds; I think there are bees in it.”
- “I’m so hungry my tummy will stay awake, even if the rest of me tries to go asleep.”
- “I am asleep, I’m just sleeping with my eyes open”
If only she would sleep like this when bedtime rolls around.
Unfortunately for Evey, she is the youngest of our five children, and we have already heard every excuse & experienced every stall tactic in the bedtime stallers play book. Her eldest brother once poured dry cat food all over the floor just so he could stay up to help clean it up again. Then there was the infamous ‘we’re covered in paint, so we need another bath now’ incident and not forgetting her big sister who used to ‘fall out of bed’ for attention & one night ended up at the ER for stitches.
So, you see, we quietly indulge Eveys attempts at staying up a little later and smile, safe in the knowledge that we start getting her ready for bed at least an hour before her actual bedtime so she is tucked up safe under the quilt at the time we want her to be. Just don’t tell her our secret!
To add another tool to your arsenal Netflix & Dreamworks Animation have have released ‘Dinotrux Favourites‘ a set of bite sized, 5 min programs with which you can fool your little staller by telling them they can watch ‘One more show.’ This trick will only work once of course those tricky little mini humans catch on quick, but for one night you can bask in the knowledge that you had, no matter how briefly, the upper hand!
You’re Not Alone!
In a recent global survey, Netflix found that 61% of parents face bedtime stalling tactics by their kids. It turns out that 79% of parents worldwide are willing to make compromises with their kids at bedtime, spending an average of 20 minutes per night negotiating with them to go to bed.
The poll also found that Canadian parents stand strong at bedtime, as they are significantly more likely to disagree that their child’s stall tactics can be too cute or so clever that they give in and let them stay up past their bedtime (61% disagree vs. 51 globally).
Additional Canadian stats include:
- The average time it takes Canadian parents to put their kids to bed is 18.1 minutes (vs. 17.5 minutes globally)
- 52% of Canadian parents disagree to children using stall tactics at bedtime
- 61% of Canadian parents don’t find their kids tactics too cute or clever to give in and let them stay up later
- 85% of Canadian parents agree that the last snuggle is the best (vs. 87% globally)
- 40% of Canadian parents have faced the “just five more minutes” negotiator
- The stall tactics of Canadian kids results in 13.2 additional minutes added to their bedtime routine (vs. 15.7 minutes globally)
So you see, it’s not just you & your kids – it’s everyone. Just enjoy the though that one day they grow out of it, and they’ll have kids of their own to wrangle to bed – that’ll teach em.