It’s not unusual to encounter some sort of resistance during the bed time routine. There are many techniques –
- Evasive Action – Flat out run away. This is an instinctual reaction, right? Fight or Flight. Just run as fast as you can in the opposite direction. It’s not a bad tactic. You can’t blame the kid for trying.
- Fight – An outright tantrum which is never pleasant and can result in injury with all those limbs flailing about. Or the karate chop – seriously, she has “hi-yad” me before. It’s hard not to laugh. Laughing just drags out the bed time routine. Never break down people. Rule#1 in parenting – don’t laugh. This is serious business. Bedtime is serious. Really. It is.
- The Activist – There’s a lot of “Hell No We Won’t Go” going on. Just kidding. Seriously, before you start judging, there’s just a lot of loud NOs. Of course, there are other tactics that fall into this activist title.
- The Lock Down – otherwise known as dead weight or even making yourself as big as possible so that you can’t get through the doorway.
- Nude protest – this usually goes hand in hand with evasive action for maximum effect.
- Nonviolent approach – Mama, I love you followed by a big cuddly hug. Need I say more? This one is quite powerful. MLK Jr. and Ghandi were onto something with this approach.
And most recently,
- The Greek Siren Method – She’s only 3, how did she manage to add this to her repertoire of tactics?
The other night, I heard Lola crying. “I just want dada to hold me.” Over and over and over. The same song. Of course, as the concerned parent, and because it was my turn, I go check on her.
I walk in her room and she turns to look at me with sad eyes and a tear-stained face. She starts in on her song, “I just want dada to…” pause, regroup “I just want mama to hold me.”
Did I learn nothing reading the Odyssey? You’re supposed to ignore the call of the Siren.
Hesitate for even a second and she has you. In that split second, she has sensed your weakness and can now move on to the true tactic, the core of all tactics, Stall – do anything that will make you, the parent, stay in that room longer which equals staying awake longer. There’s no real strategy just keep talking, keep stalling. Usually looks a bit like this:
Lola: Mama, mama I need….quickly looking around to room to see if she can come up with something good.
This happens EVERY time I try to leave the room, causing me to take a step back into the room. This could go on forever if I don’t put a stop to it. Short of evasive action, I haven’t quite figured out how to stay one step ahead. I think I will try out my noise cancellation head phones tomorrow night. Maybe that’s the real reason Dr. Dre created his Monster Beats headphones – sound quality aside – let’s talk about combat a 3-yr olds sneaky bedtime tactics?