It is the end of a long day, the kids are zoned in front of the TV or Wii or iPad. You still have 101 things to do before you can even entertain the thought of chilling out. You announce, "It's time for bed! PJs on, please!" and no one moves. You ask again, this time the kids beg for "just one more minute, Mom!?" and it has begun: The Bedtime Drama.
Whether yours is getting the kids into bed or getting the kids to stay in bed or avoiding the reading of book 6 and sip of water number 19, bedtime drama is a battle almost every parent fights at least once a week. Case in point, a new study that says that more than one-third of parents say getting the kids to bed -- to turn off the TV or quit the computer game -- is more stressful than commuting to work.
Anyone else agree ... or should I ask, anyone not agree?
The main tool to end the bedtime battle was the bribe, as 17 percent of parents promise the kids they can go to bed later on the weekend, 28 percent promise more TV and 6 percent bribe the kids with something sweet (dentists everywhere are groaning). The kicker for me: 44 percent say they don't read to their kids before bedtime because they -- the parents -- are too tired. It also reports children under 10 on average watched more than 1 hour of TV before bed. Wow.
I admit I am in that TV watching camp. Before bedtime, we snuggle and chill out with PJs on while watching the TV (usually Tinga Tinga Tales or Olivia). But, even though I am spent at the end of the day, we do the book-reading, even if it is a short one. It often helps Kiddo become a little sleepy. Then there's teeth-brushing, storytelling and singing in bed, monster-shooing and kisses. All told, it is about a 30-minute process.
What's our main battle: those nights where Kiddo calls for me about 17 times during the first 20 minutes she is in there -- she wants more juice, she sees a monster, she can't hear her penguin songs, she can't find Caddy or Biscuit or Meow-Meow, she wants to know what I dreamt about last night, and we go on ... and on ... and on until I have to use my "frustrated voice."
Is it possible to avoid the bedtime drama? Some nights, maybe. Other nights, not so much. There are things we can do to avoid it, but every parent has fought the good bedtime fight at least once. It's why Go the F@#k to Sleep is so popular. We can all relate to it.
Do you have bedtime drama?
Image via popofatticus/Flickr