Four Delay Tactics My Kids Use (for Ketchup With Us)

Some days I look forward to the kids’ bedtime.  In theory, it’s the time when my husband and I can have a break and just relax.  We can sit down, talk about the day, and maybe watch something on TV together.  In theory.  In reality, it’s chaos.  It’s frustration.  It’s disappointment.  It’s the time when my husband and I spend too much time trying to get the kids settled down and sleeping.  And these kids are clever.  They do everything they can to delay going to bed and to sleep.  So, for this numbered post for Ketchup With Us, hosted by Mel at According to Mags and Michele at ODNT, I’ve decided to list the…

Four Delay Tactics My Kids Use for Not Going to Sleep

1)  The old “I’m starving!” and “I’m dying of thirst!” routine.  They’ve actually convinced my husband that they need snacks before bedtime, even if it’s not long after dinner.  He even asks them, when it’s time to start getting ready for bed, if they want a snack.  WHAT??  NOOOOOOO!  Of course they say yes.  Then they proceed to watch TV and/or play while they’re grazing on their snack.  When we try to get Zoey up to bed, she says, “I’m eeeeeeeeating!”  And this continues for at least 20 more minutes.  Zander will wait until after he’s brushed his teeth and lights are supposed to go out before he says, “I NEED FOOD!  I’m starving!!!!!”  Again, it’s at least 20 more minutes of being up for him.

2)  “Wait, I forgot to brush my teeth!”  This is a good one.  My kids know how much I love good oral hygiene, and so they use this to their advantage.  They know that if they say this I HAVE to let them go and brush their teeth.  And on a night when they don’t use it as a delay tactic, they don’t brush long enough, but when it’s part of delaying going to bed, they tend to take a lot of time doing it.  Hmmmm…


3)  “I NEED you to lie here with me so I can fall asleep.”  My husband and I were suckers when it came to doing anything we could or thought we should to help Zander get to sleep when he was younger.  We said we would NOT do that when it came to Zoey.  However, we fall into bad habits some days – not every day – and get talked into lying with the kids to help them go to sleep.  Zander will actually come downstairs – if we’ve finally freed ourselves from Zoey and are actually spending time together – to beg us to go lie down with him.  Some days it’s after 10pm.  Of course we’re made to feel guilty if we say no…but it’s EXHAUSTING.  That guilt that you’re not spending enough time with your kids or that you’re not doing all you can for them is terrible.

4)  “I’ll just read a little more.”  Zander is an amazing reader, and he loves doing it.  It’s probably his favourite thing to do.  So we let him read before bed, but every night it gets later and later before he stops.  I want to encourage his love of reading, and I want it to continue, but it’s getting much too late for a 7 year old.


This was Zander’s stack of books for one week, a few months ago.

Do your kids use delay tactics?  Please tell me about it!  You could also write a numbered post about it, or anything else you want to write about, and participate in the blog posts by number challenge, from the Ketchup With Us ladies, Mel and Michele.  Just go to their websites for full details.




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