fbpx

How Many Ways I Can Be Naughty at Bedtime?

Three year old Wes used to play his favorite game at bedtime. It was called, “See how many ways I can be naughty.”

He was the only one enjoying the game. His single, working dad certainly did not. Wes was very creative in how he played the game: he ran away when it was time to put on his pj’s. He clenched his jaw when it was time to brush his teeth. He screamed and threatened to wake up his baby brother. He jumped on the bed when it was time for tuck in. Sound familiar? It’s a very popular game amongst the little people. It’s a game though, that doesn’t usually end well for either the child or the parent.

Wes’s game ruled until Daddy came up with a better game called “Earn a Minute.” This game starts at the beginning of bedtime when Daddy whispers to Wes, “For every step of bedtime that you do cooperatively, you earn a minute of You-n-Me time. If you get enough, we might be able to read a whole extra book!” “Game on” for little Wes. He might as well wear a sign that says, “Will Cooperate For You-N-Me Time.”

Here’s how the scoring works
Brush teeth: earn a minute.
Go potty: earn a minute.
Wash hands: earn a minute.
Get undressed: earn a minute.
Get in the bath: earn a minute.
Cooperate with being washed: earn a minute.
Get out of the bath first time you’re told: earn a minute.
Hold still while being dried: earn a minute.
Put on PJs: earn a minute.
Climb into bed: earn a minute.

Wes has mastered this “game” and he savors his ten minutes of special Daddy-time before going to sleep. Dad is happy because the extra story time takes less time than all the hassling did, and father and son both get happy snuggle time instead of exasperation and negative attention.

Every now and then, Daddy mixes things up and says, “We’re not playing tonight, so you might as well be a rascal.” Well now, when Daddy invites Wes to misbehave, it’s not as much fun for Wes and the power struggle is over.


Join the conversation

Most Sunday mornings, my goals is to share stories from the heart, high lights and low lights, thoughts about parenting, relationships, and self-awareness. Yup, if we want close, connected families, it takes keeping ourselves and our relationships in balance. 

As a new subscriber to my email list, I promise not to overload your inbox and I will never (ever) share your email. I take this space very seriously, so my promise to you is always be transparent and speak straight from my heart, as open and honest as I know how to be. 

See you on the inside with love and laughter,

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

The very fact that you are reading this blog post tells me you are conscious about your parenting. I believe one of the noblest things we parents can do for this planet is to raise children who feel seen, known, and loved. I want to thank you from my heart for the...

read more

A very special chance for Founding Members to get free access to The Moms Group.

.
Your job is to become a better parent than those who raised you