She’s thirsty. She’s lonely. She has to pee...again! Is it the same scene at your house after lights out?
Parenting expert and author Alyson Schafer reminds parents that bedtime stalling is simply about engaging mom and dad. “You can’t make them go to bed, but you can make sure they don’t reach their goal, and they’ll then abandon the behaviour.
This is not you being cruel; this is setting a boundary. "No socializing after 8 p.m.,” says Schafer, who suggests you attempt not to control the child, but to control the situation.
Here are some more tips for getting them to go to bed — and stay there!
A version of this article appeared in our February 2013 issue with the headline "Stop bedtime stalling," p. 55.
Leave a cup of water in the bedroom. If your child is potty training, leave the potty there, too. Older kids can go to the bathroom themselves — they don't need an escort.Photo: Emre Eldemir/iStockphoto
If your child creeps downstairs, calmly take your wanderer's hand and return him to his room without words. Repeat as many times as necessary. Schafer admits this is a great technique, but hard to pull off if your tot is stubborn.Photo: blackred/iStockphoto
If your little one can't stay in his room, let him know that you can help. Walk him back once, and tell him that if he comes out again, you will help him stay in his room by either closing the door, putting up a baby gate, or even installing a childproof handle on his side.Photo: Gina Neal/iStockphoto
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