Let's say (for fun) that I can somehow get my son upstairs to start his bedtime routine at 7:30 pm (without the stalling, last-minute things he absolutely "has" to tell me and without any whining). Let's just say that happened. What follows is a series of check-ins. Did you flush? (Oops.) Did you wash your hair? (Not yet.) Are you dried off? (I'm about to do that.) Have you brushed your teeth? (You didn't tell me I had to do that!)
On a good night, we are in his room at 8 pm, ready for him to search for the perfect book to read to each other before I leave his room at 8:30 pm.
The entire bedtime routine is an hour long process that feels much, much longer.
So, maybe it's a struggle, but it's worth it. Not only do I want him to get to bed on time so that he has enough sleep, but I want him to get to bed on time to help him dodge any weight gain or other health issues that may be associated with a later bedtime.
I have tried starting the routine earlier (which doesn't always work with our two-parent working lifestyle), lists to help him move through his routine (varying success/failure rate) and kept the routine the same for several years. They don't help speed the bedtime process along, because one thing is fundamentally clear:
No child wants to go to bed.
So, I will continue to prod him through his routine, until someone has a better idea.
What's your trick to get through the nightly bedtime routine? Tell me in the comments.