Bedtime Strategies. Strategy # 1 – The Bell ~ From a Dad in North Carolina. Kids don’t like surrendering control of their situations. Since they can’t tell time you can imagine how their stomachs drop when we announce “its bedtime!” Sure, giving them a 5-minute warning helps, but when that 5-minutes turns into 30 minutes because we got distracted then you’ve conditioned the child to understand that “5-minutes before bedtime” could be 1 more commercial break or could be an entire episode start to finish. So when you finally try to round them up for bed they are more likely to be surprised and defiant and put up their defensive maneuvers.
SOLUTION: If you give them an X minute warning, set a timer. When the bell rings, that’s it. There’s no arguing with the bell. If YOU respect the bell ALWAYS, then THEY will respect it too. There can never be a bell reset or you’ve undermined the authority of the bell forever.