Kids are natural—and often quite masterful—negotiators. “Please, please, please, just one more…..” Fill in the blank. One more story, one more piece of Halloween candy, one more game, one more minute, one more beer (oh, wait, that’s you). You could get hit with a “one more” demand at any time and at any place. But there’s one time when those stalling tactics flow especially fast and furious: getting ready for bed. And the plea is always the same: “just five more minutes.”
The justifications for those extra minutes are a carnival of youthful creativity. “I have a headache.” “There’s a monster under the bed.” “It’s too loud.” “It’s too quiet.” “I’m thirsty.” “I’m hungry.” “The sheets are uncomfortable.” “You forgot to kiss me goodnight.” “I forgot to kiss you goodnight.” “I didn’t finish my vegetables.” “I just heard the doorbell ring.” “I’m getting too big for this bed.” “The stars are too bright.” “My stuffie will be lonely without me.” “What time is it?” “What time is it in Timbuktu?” “I have to count my books.” “My fingernails are talking to me.” “I’m wearing the wrong PJs.” And on and on and on.
What’s most amazing about these excuses is that they’re probably exactly the same ones you tried on your parents. Seems a little odd, doesn’t it? In fact, if I were a little more paranoid, I might suspect that my parents had coached my kids on what to say, perhaps in a calculated way of getting back at me for pulling the same crap when I was little.
As parents today, we have access to one weapon to fight the “one mores” or “just five more minutes” ploys that our own parents didn’t have: Netflix. Wait, am I suggesting that we bribe our kids with videos? Kind of. But there’s a twist. Netflix and DreamWorks Animation partnered on a series called “Dinotrux 5 Minute Favorites,” and they’ve just released a bunch of new episodes.
So next time your little ones demand just five more minutes or just one more episode, take the wind out of their sails by reluctantly caving. “Okay, if you get five more minutes, do you promise you’ll go to bed with no more complaining?” “Yes, daddy.” “Are you sure?” “Yes, daddy.” Then all you have to do is resist the urge to say, “Gotcha, sucker!” Just click Play on one of the Dinotrux episodes and you’re golden. At least until they figure out some new ways of delaying bedtime even further. Hopefully, Netflix is on the case.
Disclosure: As a member of the @Netflix #StreamTeam, I occasionally receive product and free access to programming, but it would take a lot more than that to get me to recommend something that I don’t truly believe in.