Bedtime Strategies #2– Plan Your Attack

Bedtime Strategies # 2 – Plan Your Attack. How often have you tried to initiate bedtime, only to be thwarted by the “I’m hungry” defense?  It’s easy to dismiss if we’re sure they ate a solid dinner, but on those nights, that dinner was light or a little early, and there’s a chance the kid is actually hungry and he/she may have a point.  Of course, we give them a bowl of cereal before bed, but you’ve just conditioned the child to get a 20-minute extension just by faking some hunger pangs.  Yes, Pangs… (I recently learned its pangs and not pains and don’t know why). This leads us to Bedtime Strategies – Plan your Attack

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Consider the hunger argument before you announce bedtime.  If there is a chance that they could be worthy of a nightcap, then ask before you even mention bedtime.  You’re likely to get a more genuine answer from them and they will learn that “bedtime” is bedtime with no excuses.

We invite you to share with us your strategies for getting kids more shuteye (besides Benadryl).

Bedtime Strategy 1

Bedtime Strategy Intro

Bedtime Strategies #1

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.

Bedtime Strategy Intro

Bedtime Strategy 2

Bedtime Strategies

Trying to get your kid(s) ready for bed? The following series comes from other Dads… What works for you when trying to get your kid(s) ready for bed… I welcome your feedback, and please comment on what methods you use…

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Bedtime Strategies for Dads Intro

My son suffers from a syndrome not yet recognized by the American Medical Association which I call BTB.  It stands for “belligerent time bomb” and goes like this: 

The Mornings

The instant my son wakes up in the morning around 6:30am, he is the most even-tempered kid you’ll meet.  Patient, kind, well mannered, he’ll even obey our instructions from the Friday night before and play quietly in his room while mom and Dad sleep in a bit.  On school days, he rolls out of his bottom bunk (top bunk is currently subleased to thirteen stuffed animals and 3 pillow/light projector things) with a smile and doesn’t even fuss if the first words he hears from me are “clean your room and meet me downstairs for breakfast”…  90% of the time I’ll get a “Yes Dad” and he’ll spring into action.  Boy, do I love that kid.


Afternoons are a different story.  He arrives from school with a deceptively similar smile to the morning but if you look closely there’s a twinkle missing from his eyes. His backpack gets dropped on the floor so fast that it blocks the front door from closing.  His shoes, if he bothers to remove them, land somewhere in the hallway next to the scuff marked wall which he kicked them into.  Manners disappear as he grunts with hunger and demands a snack from the nearest parent.  My wife and I are too familiar with the routine and carefully tiptoe around his every grunt for fear of agitating his volatile mood.  We overcompensate with too much sweetness in our tone and almost sound like June Cleaver asking if he “would like some more milk with your cookies” and “How was your day”. 

My Wife and I don’t recognize this boy who appears at our door every day at 3:10pm but we know it’s our son.  We know because I used a marker to put a dot on his arm once before he left for school and I verified the dot was still there when he returned.  So it’s not a different kid and I don’t believe in aliens so what is going on?  We ruled out school being the cause because he pulls the same crap on the weekends.  Mornings are fantastic, afternoons are progressively worse and bedtime is terrible.  He’s irritable, aggressive, rude, sassy and mean. If we forget to tiptoe perfectly avoiding confrontation then he’ll go toe to toe yelling at us and we end up sending him to his room out of frustration.  He stomps upstairs in his rage and he’ll throw toys while we try to regain our composure.

What’s the Issue?

Through trial and error, I pinpointed the source of the issue.  Sleep deprivation/exhaustion.  If we don’t get him to bed on time… – scratch that – …if he doesn’t fall asleep on time then he wakes up with half a tank of gas.  Sure, he’s fully functional in the morning but afternoon his energy starts to taper down with his mood tracking down with it on a perfect slope approaching zero (where zero = head spinning, knife-wielding psychopath kid which I’m required by law to love and protect).

Getting a 6-year-old more sleep is easier said than done.  I have developed some strategies which have helped us combat accomplish just that.  This series presents my strategies to cure BTB and hopefully stop the spread from reaching your household. 

We invite you to share with us your strategies for getting kids more shuteye (besides Benadryl).

Bedtime Strategies #2

About – That’s Dad Stuff

That’s Dad Stuff

I’m a Dad of two daughters, and I’m lucky to be married to my bride for 15 years. I love 70 and 80s music and I’m a techie that’s always looking for a good deal. What is this site going to be about? It’s all about being a Dad and all the “Stuff” that goes with the job.  What “Stuff” you ask? It’s all the “stuff” that a Dad likes or has to deal with.  #thatsdadstuff. Have a look around, leave a comment! Follow us on twitter and facebook. @thatsdadstuff  Facebook/thatsdadstuff  @thatsdadstuff 

Kids and Money – Give Save Spend


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Kids and Money – Give Save Spend 

My wife and I have been on and off the Dave Ramsey bandwagon for 5 years now. The Dave Ramsey Baby Steps have really changed how we manage our money. (Be on the lookout for my Dave Ramsey post in the near future!) The way you manage your money will be the financial foundation for your kids. Believe it or not, your kids are watching you and how you manage your money. Talk about the credit card? Use the credit card? Your kids will believe that credit cards are good and OK to use. Use coupons? Always looking for a bargain. Your kids will learn how to be thrifty as well.

A few years ago, I implemented savings jars for my daughters. I bought some mason jars from Amazon, cut a small opening in the lids for the coin slot, found some “girly” labels from Pinterest, and before you know it, we had our own Give Save Spend jars. 

I’ll be honest with you. This, in theory, is great, but as kids are brainwashed about money these days, my girls literally want to spend the money as soon as they get it. There are times where its really a fight to get them to save. BUT to their credit, they love giving. We have taken their give money to the Salvation Army at Christmas, the local needy Baby and Mommy support group. I’m really proud of them for love to give. But saving… it’s a struggle. They are 13 and 10 and they really love to shop and spend spend spend. While some parents really push a certain percentage goes into each category; I’m happy with whatever the money goes into the savings jar. 

I give credit where credit is due, has a great write up on the jar concept along with the labels I used. 

How have you taught your kids about saving and giving? Any tips? 

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Water Heater Math and Kids


Water Heater Math

That’s Dad Stuff  @thatsdadstuff

I have a 10 and a 13-year-old. They both like showers and that’s a good thing and all, but man, they take very long showers. It never fails, after they take their shower, there isn’t enough hot water for me. Now before you say, “You need a bigger water heater”, its 55 gallons and simply put it boils down to the amount of time in the shower. 

So I gave the kids a lesson in “water heater math”. 

I took the kids down to our basement and showed them what a water heater is. Then I explained what the water heater does, and how much water is in it. Next, we talked about what uses hot water and specifically focused on the showerheads. 

To make the math easy on them, I said the showerhead gave them 5 gallons of water per min. If the water heater is 55 gallons, how long would the water heater last? With wide eyes, my oldest quickly answered 11 mins. “Wow Dad, I’m sorry, I had no idea.” Then I asked what if 2 kids are taking showers at the same time? My youngest quickly answered “Even LESS!” (I was looking for minutes, but I will take that answer.) 

My oldest said she would take shorter showers now she knows this. 

I know shower heads gallons per minute are much better than 5 gallons, and there are some water-saving showerheads at decent prices on Amazon, but I wanted to really get the point across and make the math easy. 

Try Water Heater Math with your kids if you have long shower takers… let me know if you see a difference.

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You’re a Dad. Suck It Up!


You’re a Dad… Suck It Up….

That’s Dad Stuff

This weekend was my daughter’s birthday party. My wife wanted to do something different for her and was really struggling with what to do for my daughter and her friends. After what I experienced this weekend, I can truly tell you that no matter what your interests are, there is a party theme or location to host your party. My wife found Kitten In Cups. It’s a Cat Cafe. You read that right. A Cat Cafe. My daughter was ecstatic. I was not! At. All. I’m allergic to cats. Deathly allergic? No, but bad enough to know, I was going to be miserable. Do I skip my kid’s party? No way, I couldn’t do that. Do I go sit in the car? Thought about it, but no. I basically said to myself, you’re a Dad. This is what Dads do. You’re a Dad… Suck it up.

A little bit about my experience. First, I doubled up on my Flonase and took a Claritin before we left. That definitely helped. I walked in and after about 15 mins I eyes were watery and itchy, blew my nose a few times… but I digress. I really didn’t know what to expect. In my mind, I was thinking the worst. I was expecting hairballs everywhere, and the smell of cat pee. To my surprise, the place was clean and didn’t smell. All in all, it wasn’t bad. We were greeted by friendly staff, and they allowed us to ordered pizzas, the kids played with cats and I watched… from a distance but not in that creepy-far-distance-watching-kind-of-way, that would be weird. 

Would I sign up to go again, no! Will my Wife? Yes… So… I’ll be going again because I’m a Dad and I need to suck it up.