How To Deal With The Excuses Your Kids Use For Not Going To Bed


girl sitting in bedroom surrounded by stuffed animals middle class dad

Imagine the scene.

You’re finally settling down with your latest Netflix binge when you hear the pitter-patter of tiny feet on the stairs.

With those familiar first two words, 

Daddy, I…

You then brace yourself for yet another excuse as to why your child won’t go to bed.

Say goodbye to another night without Netflix!

Of course, with some authoritative parenting techniques, you might not have such a problem. Still, let’s have a look at some of the common excuses our children use, with a few suggestions on how to deal with them.

Excuse #1: Daddy, I need a drink

This is a difficult one, as, especially if your child is very young, you might want to limit the number of drinks he has in fear of him wetting the bed.

Still, you should still make sure he has something to drink before bedtime, perhaps in a smaller cup to reduce his fluid intake, so he has less reason to make this common excuse. 

Excuse #2: Daddy, there is something under my bed

Any slight noise can cause fear in children when they are lying in the dark, and while it’s probably only the cat making herself comfortable, or a visiting mouse that might later necessitate a call to pest control, your child will still make the assumption that it’s a lurking monster.

You can get around this problem by exploring under the bed (and everywhere else in the bedroom) with homemade monster repellent (a spray bottle with water) with your child before lights out, so they have greater peace of mind that nothing is going to jump out at them during the night.

You might also buy a night light for your child’s room, so he has less to be frightened of in the dark.

Excuse #3: Daddy, I forgot to tell you something

He probably hasn’t forgotten to tell you anything at all.

In all likelihood, your child might just want to spend a little more time with you, and even if has forgotten to mention something, it probably isn’t worth turning your TV off for.

Still, you can make your life easier by spending time with your child before he goes to bed. When he is nestled under his blankets, have a recap of the day’s events so he can get every bit of news out of his system, and listen to his worries if he has any.

Hopefully, your child will then settle down, without that urgent desire to tell you just one more thing before going to sleep. 

Excuse #4: Daddy, I don’t feel tired

Children have more energy than we sometimes do, so while you might be ready for your z’s, your child might not be.

Still, you can solve this issue by making sure your child engages in some physical activity before bedtime, be that through playing a game in the living room, or going for a short walk with you and the dog before lights out.

Be sure to withhold sugary snacks and drinks too, as these will only energize your little one. Instead, consider these bedtime drinks and nibbles, as they have sleep-inducing properties to send your child off to la-la land. 

We haven’t covered every excuse here – you can probably add more to this short list – but we hope our simple solutions have been helpful. Let us know, and if you have any other suggestions, be sure to share them with us. 

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is a husband, father, martial artist, budget-master, Disney-addict, musician, and recovering foodie having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Whole Foods Market. Click to learn more about me

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