And the award for best dramatic performance goes to the Twins tonight for their reenactment of the film classic, “I Don’t Want Snuggles!” Let’s face it, whether you have one child or multiple children when the sun goes down, resistance to bedtime goes up. It’s like a polar opposite attitude materializes out of nowhere. One minute your children are playing nicely or watching a quick show before bedtime and then you mention it’s time for bed and a switch is flipped! In our house-hold it goes down one of three ways every night when the witching hour approaches:
They turn into a bed of sloths. You know the slow motion game where it could take up to thirty minutes for them to crawl to their room if you let them?
They fight back all at the same time. #1 enters into logic warfare rattling off names of kids in their class that get to stay up late, #2 claims hunger as an alibi, #3 chooses mass hysteria, and #4 decides to run and hide knowing that you are battling logic, starvation, and hysterics.
They behave because it’s Thursday night and they know Friday night is iPad night. The one night of the week they get to play iPad if they have been good all week so they hop in bed and go right to sleep.
Beyond the dramatics, parents know their children and most have a strategy to get their children to bed, especially if it is not iPad night. In our house, here are a few lessons I have learned to reduce bedtime Shenanigans.
A bed of sloths is easily captured because they move slowly. These sloths are typically very tired and merely picking them and up placing them in their bed will do the trick.
When children take a multi-pronged attack they are clearly looking for attention and a response. Give it to them straight and to the point by telling them that these are the rules in this house for the logical one, no food after dinner for the hungry one, calm and comfort for the emotional one, and give a standing ten count to get into bed for the clandestine one. You will get push-back but you will be respected for it in the long run.
And for Thursday nights, just make sure the iPad is charged for Friday night! If not, you may just see a logical, hungry, hysteric sloth!
Bedtime shenanigans can take their toll if you let them, so just have fun with it! Remember, the first element of an effective parenting plan is a sense of humor.
Who is Joel Lackovich?
Father of Multiples Survivor!
As a father to a pair of boys close in age and a pair of fraternal twin girls, Joel is constantly on the go living the Twin Circus on a daily basis.
His 2016 book, Twin Circus, an Amazon top-seller, was inspired by the chaotic joy of raising multiples, and was born somewhere between one of the many middle of the night diaper changes and trying to figure out how to install multiple car seats in a timely fashion. Joel currently resides in Austin Texas with his wife Tracey, and their four children, Tristan, Jaxen, Scarlett, and Skye, and is already working on his follow up book to Twin Circus.