Bedtime Battles

A Parent’s Perspective

Bedtime is always a battle these days. Analia usually finds any excuse to stay awake for “just a little bit” longer. After we’ve read a few books, I announce it’s time for “nighty-night.” She says, “We can read three more books and then I can go to bed—is that a great idea?” It’s late, I’m sleepy, and I grow increasingly frustrated with this game.

I’m in no way angry at her—how can I be angry at a daughter who wants to read more? But neither of us is getting to bed any earlier. So last night, when I announced we were on the final book for the night, the pouty lip made its usual appearance and she said, “But I want you to stay with me.” Using her own words, I said, “I know you want me to stay, but it’s bedtime. Tomorrow morning I’ll come into your room and we can read another book then. Is that a great idea?” This seems to work. Rather than getting into a drawn-out discussion, she turns her head on her pillow, I head off to my room, and, as promised, in the morning we read a little Green Eggs and Ham. I guess we both “won.”

Share your thoughts: What are some parenting dilemmas that you think can be solved with a little dose of perspective taking?

 “A Parent’s Perspective”  excerpted from Mind in the Making: Seven Essential Skills that Every Child Needs.

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