Although I don't have the yelling and screaming at bedtime problem, I do have a related but separate question.

It doesn't take long before a kid who doesn't want to go bed realizes that stalling can work better than outright defiance. How do you deal with bedtime stalling techniques?

asked 11 Nov '09, 21:01

Dinah's gravatar image

accept rate: 15%

If she shows signs of stalling as bedtime approaches, I try to find new ways of reminding her that her tiredness is making her think that she is not sleepy, but she can use this as a cue to discuss the issue in greater detail, so I have to try and avoid getting into these types of conversations.

If she stalls in bed I just caress her forehead and tell her what I have planned for the next day, and ask her to close her eyes... I sit with her for a few minutes we chat, she holds my hand and nods off.

If she starts showing signs of stalling prior to brushing her teeth and wearing pyjamas, we just say ok and tell her that she can stay up. We remind her that we need to call the service driver of her school bus, and that he should not come to pick her up the next morning and this makes her rethink her decision. Pre-School has an amazing effect on her, the idea of missing a morning is enough to make her feel that she is ready for bed.

We plan to use the "pre school factor" for as long as we can!


answered 12 Nov '09, 18:37

Emi's gravatar image

accept rate: 19%

edited 14 Nov '09, 05:07

I threaten a lack of story, on the grounds of it then being too late. "If you don't get into bed soon, there won't be time for a story" etc. That usually works reasonably well, although obviously it depends on how much your child likes being read to.

Our main problem is after the kids are in bed, the twins often muck around with each other, getting out of bed again etc. We don't really have a solution to that - I used to sit in their room, working, to keep them in bed... but then one of them decided that was a really nice thing, and wanted me in there all night!


answered 11 Nov '09, 21:40

Jon%20Skeet's gravatar image

Jon Skeet
accept rate: 35%

With our older kids I've found it to be pretty effective to let them know that the longer they stall, the earlier they'll got to bed the next night. It usually takes the form of "if it takes you 20 minutes to get to bed I guess I need to start the process 20 minutes early tomorrow night so you can be in bed on time." That doesn't work with the little ones but the older kids usually fall into line.

We also have general policies around common things like drinks. If they want filtered ice water then they need to get it on their own before we start the process of putting them to bed. If they're thirsty after that then they can drink tap water from the bathroom. Over time they've gotten better and better about remembering to take care of those things before hand.


answered 26 Nov '09, 03:17

Steve%20Hiner's gravatar image

Steve Hiner
accept rate: 0%

I like this a lot

(26 Nov '09, 13:47) Dinah

Our eldest has plenty of reason to stall because he is diabetic. Generally we just allow extra time so it doesn't matter. As he stalls further we get firmer.
Him and his younger brother get to watch TV to fall asleep to. So the other way to speed them up is to go and set the timer. Then they know that the longer they take stalling the less TV they get to watch.


answered 12 Nov '09, 19:49

pipthegeek's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

Personally I would not allow for stalling, we have raised our daughter without a bedtime routine and so when its time, its time - its very cut and dried and simple.It never takes more than 5 minutes and if she ever did try to stall then I would be firm and gentle and no allow it.

Not having a routine means there is very little the child can come up with to stall - they cannot draw out a process that does not exist.


answered 12 Nov '09, 02:59

dreamerisme's gravatar image

accept rate: 8%

edited 12 Nov '09, 14:54


I don't understand how not having a bedtime routine leads to it will only taking 5 minutes every time and disallows stalling. Could you expand on that?

(12 Nov '09, 03:18) dlamblin

How old is your daughter? We've certainly had phases (for months on end) where the bedtime routine is short and sweet with no complaining. And other phases where it was all about stalling. You still certainly have a process -- you brush teeth, right? You go upstairs (or to the child's room to sleep), right? You change clothes for bed, right? Sounds like many opportunities to stall, but you're just lucky and your daughter happens not to try to do so.

(12 Nov '09, 15:35) lgritz
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Asked: 11 Nov '09, 21:01

Seen: 4,613 times

Last updated: 26 Nov '09, 03:17