Pro tip: Easy Bedtime for School-Aged Children

Pro tip for managing the easiest, most fuss-free, no-yell-or-threats bedtime for your school-aged children:

  1. Plan a fast, crappy dinner, such as boxed mac-and-cheese plus/or hot dogs plus steamed broccoli.
  2. Insist everyone put on costumes, including yourself.
  3. Shout that they put the kitties down and get shoes on.
  4. Put a bin of candy on your porch with a sign saying “Please take just one.”
  5. At dusk/just after dinner, go outside.
  6. Wander around the neighborhood having your kids ring doorbells for almost two hours, with strangers giving them candy for their efforts.
  7. Allow the children to each eat exactly two things while walking around.
  8. Stop at your new friend’s house and accept a beer before realizing your children ONLY want to be walking around, getting candy from strangers. Accept to-go cup from extremely gracious new friend.
  9. Make your way home, still with your kids ringing/knocking/gathering candy.
  10. Arrive home at the time your children are usually bathed/brushed/homework done/lunches packed/in bed.
  11. Let them spread candy all over the living room floor and sort it into piles. Help with sorting.
  12. Agree to let them each choose two things to eat tonight, plus one to put into lunchbox for tomorrow.
  13. Agree that three things tonight is ok. They can each have three candy-things tonight.
  14. When someone asks if they can watch a show–at this point 17 unbrushed minutes past bedtime–agree to it, shocking them.
  15. When show ends, insists on the usual floss/brush/fluoride rinse.
  16. Read for only 10 minutes instead of the usual 20 or 25.
  17. Snuggle each kid for only 1:30 each instead of of big battles about it.
  18. Go downstairs and hear nothing from either kid for the rest of the night.

 

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