The last part of the day is the toughest. School done, work done, dinner done, I embark on a battle with tired kids, who categorically deny being tired and refute all yawning and signs of tiredness. Daily I compete against their favourite entertainment choices armed with little more than my persuasive charm and the promise of bedtime stories and special treats tomorrow – it’s all bribery and corruption in this house. If all else fails there is the threat of shouting!

My children have a never ending supply of excuses for requiring “five more minutes” can regularly include:

  1. I will do _________ tomorrow. (Never, ever, happens & this commitment will be denied)
  2. I forgot to tell you something. (I can then see them making something up in their head!)
  3. I am hungry / thirsty. (Not possible, fully fed & watered)
  4. I just want to spend some more time with you mummy. (Translation – you may sit with me)
  5. Ok I’m coming. (Followed by barely visible & unbearably slow movements)
  6. I’ve just forgotten ________ I have to do. (A random thing unlikely to be required let alone tomorrow!)
  7. I’m getting ready for bed here. (This would require parental relocation of all sleepwear)
  8. You said yesterday we could. (No, I definitely did not, I have never, ever, said that)
  9. Daddy said yesterday we could. (Almost certainly did & I will deal with him later!)
  10. But it’s not fair. (Irrelevant. This may be the case. However I am not interested)

Watch out little people there is a new weapon in the parenting armoury! Next time the bedtime battle arises and let’s face it that will almost certainly be tonight, just tell your kids they can watch an ENTIRE show before bed. Yes, you heard us right a whole show. This week, Netflix and DreamWorks Animation are launching Dinotrux Favourites, an entire episode of the latest hit all in a nice little 5-minute package — letting your little negotiator think they’re getting away with the age-old ‘just five more minutes’ ploy, but the last laugh is for you. This five minute hack is not only reserved for bedtime but can be used for homework, writing thank you notes, brushing teeth, eating veggies and other unspecified shenanigans.

Happy parenting – may the force be with you!