Delaying Tactics Before Bedtime: Is Your Kid a Bedtime Staller?

Did you know that parents spend nearly 20 minutes every single night negotiating with kids to get them into bed? Bedtime stalls are a universal problem faced by parents around the world as discovered in a recent survey by Netflix. Can you identify with delaying tactics before bedtimeIs Your Kid a Bedtime Staller?

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Do you recognise one of these types of Bedtime Stallers in your child?

  • Master Negotiator – “Just 5 more minutes”
  • Sooo Thirsty/Hungry – the “super starved or soo thirsty” routine
  • The Flatterer – “I love you mom/dad!”
  • Slow as Snails – takes an age to get pyjamas on, teeth brushed etc.
  • The Trickster – “What tricks can I get up to now”
  • Forever Forgetful – “I don’t know how to put on pyjamas!”
  • Naked in Protest – just standing naked in protest…


If you are finding bedtime battles a bit much, then help may be at hand from Netflix – they now have three special ‘5 minute’ favourites of the hit series Dinotrux from DreamWorks Animation available. So parents can offer up an ENTIRE SHOW – that’s 300 whole seconds, kids – to motivate little ones to get ready for bedtime, pronto. Kids will think they’re getting away with murder, but parents will get the last laugh when the show ends after just five minutes and the kids are tucked in on time.

Parents: 1, Kids’ Bedtime Stalls: 0.

To watch the Dinotrux specials on Netflix simply search for 5 Minute Favourites.

Bedtime Antics Around The World

Netflix polled parents* across seven countries (US, UK, France, Canada, Australia, Brazil, and Mexico) and found 61 percent of parents who are in charge of getting their children tucked in at night are dealing with their kids’ creative stall tactics at bedtime.

While the bedtime struggle is universal across the globe, how the antics unfold varies by country.

  • girl pyjamasMums and dads in the UK lure kids to sleep with bedtime bribes: Although they are reluctant to admit it, a third of parents in the UK say that one of the quickest ways to get their kids into bed is a bribe (33% vs. 28%, globally); with the chance to stay up later on weekends (30% vs. 29%) and food or snacks (21% vs. 18%) among the most popular tactics used.
  • Brazilian kids are the best bedtime negotiators. Parents in Brazil are most likely to say their kids’ stall tactics “frequently” work (52% vs 44%, on average globally), with kids in this country most likely to use the ‘”just 5 more min” negotiation tactic (51% vs 42%, globally).
  • Kids in Mexico say the darndest things: Parents in Mexico are significantly more likely to say that they give in and allow their children to stay up past their bedtime thanks to cute stall tactics (60% vs. 41%, globally).
  • Australian parents least likely to bend the bedtime rules: Parents in Australia are among those most likely to say they never make compromises to get their child into bed (26% vs. 21%, globally).
  • Warning to Canadian kids–don’t try anything cute: Parents in Canada are significantly more likely to disagree that their child’s stall tactics can be too cute or so clever that they give in and let them stay up past their bedtime (61% disagree vs. 51 globally).
  • Bedtime in France is a dream come true. Not only is France the No. 1 country where kids get to bed on time most days of the week (5.1 days per week in France vs. 4.8 days a week globally), but parents there also spend the least amount of time getting them to bed (12.3 minutes vs. 17.5 average).
  • The US is the biggest bedtime battleground. American kids are the most likely to try creative stall tactics (66% vs 61% average globally), and it takes US parents the longest to get them to bed (19.3 minutes vs. 17.5 minutes globally).

Kids’ Most Outrageous Bedtime Antics

Here are some of the best bedtime excuses that parents shared:

  • bedtime-mkt“My brain is playing tricks on me”
  • “My hair hurts”
  • “You didn’t kiss my other cheek and now it’s sad.”
  • “I hate the inside of my eyelids”
  • Pretending to get married to the cat
  • Asks how electricity works
  • “How do I say XX in German?”
  • “My throat is lonely so it needs another glass of water”
  • A stuffed animal is lost in the house and she can hear it crying
  • “Wait, I have to put my pet rock to bed first”

But no matter how long it takes to get there, at the end of the day, all of the hard work getting them to bed is worth it. The majority of parents (87%) agree that the last snuggle once their child is quietly tucked into bed is one of the most special parts of their day. Tucking them in is magic, it’s just getting there that’s the hard part!

* The Netflix Survey was conducted online by Ipsos Public Affairs on behalf of Netflix from September 2-23, 2015. For the survey, a sample of 7,277 parents with a child ages 2-10 in the US, UK, France, Canada, Australia, Brazil, or Mexico, was interviewed online, including 7,087 respondents who say that they are the primary parent responsible for getting their child tucked into bed at night at least some of the time. 

Over to you now! What type of Bedtime Staller do you have in your house? What’s the best excuse your child has used at bedtime? Tell us in the comments below!


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Jill is one of the co-founders of Mykidstime and a mum of 2 girls