Sometimes, when all else fails at bedtime, you’ve just got to think creatively to get those little ones into bed. Whether we like it or not, parenting breeds creativity – and sometimes a little slyness. At some point, all parents have been con artists, though we may not like to admit it.
What we’re going for here are simple tricks that help your little one feel as if going to bed were fun, or as if it were her idea in the first place. Here are a couple of nice examples:
1. Toddler Tantrum Takedown: Chris Thompson over at Talking to Toddlers mentioned a recent episode where his fussy, sleepy daughter didn’t want to turn off the TV before bed. Instead of becoming The Enforcer, he gave his toddler the remote, showed her the off button, and began creeping toward the TV. He turned it into a race – “I wonder if you’ll beat me to it.” It worked.
2. Sneaky Spring Forward: KJ Dell’antonia of Motherlode writes about working with her little ones ahead of time to get them ready for daylight savings – but instead of letting them know about the experiment, she just implemented it without their knowledge. She asked everyone to start their bedtime routines half an hour earlier – and since she already had a standard routine in place, once the wheels were set in motion the kids wound up falling asleep earlier and waking earlier, making morning feel relaxed and organized.
Creativity, Not Cruelty
No matter what, don’t resort to tricks that will make your child feel embarrassed or used if they discover the ruse. And for goodness’ sake, try not to flat-out lie!
Creativity and a willingness to play can go a long way when it comes to working with children. Make something fun and they’ll respond eagerly instead of balking at your request. And sometimes, what they don’t know won’t hurt ‘em.
Have you ever tricked your little one as part of the bedtime routine? Did it work or backfire?