- Jessica Berk
Put a Stop to Bathtime Battles
It seems like kids either love the bath OR hate the bath.
OR they love and hate the bath on the same night!
They don't want to get in it, and then once they're in it, they don't want to get out of it. 🤣
This probably all stems from them wanting to stall bedtime and spend more time with you, which is a nice compliment to you. But we need to get them through the bath and into bed.
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If your kiddo doesn’t want to take a bath
So if your issue is that your kiddo doesn't want to take a bath, try introducing something else to make it kind of more fun and interesting. I like using a timer. I love using a timer with kids for lots of things. But you could say something like, "Let’s use a timer and see how fast we can get through the bath?" Make it a race "See if we can get bathed in only five minutes." Turn a timer on for five minutes, and then you guys are in this together. You're racing the clock, seeing how fast you can get done with the bath.
Another option for bath time to even make it even sillier is say, "Okay, I know that you don't want to get in the bath, but tonight is bath night, so we do have to get it done. Do you think that you could sit in the bath the whole time with your eyes closed and mommy gives you a bath?" You could try something like that just to make it more fun and different and interesting, and not as boring as a normal everyday bath night.
Lots of times, these bedtime killers are repetitive. It's the same thing night after night after night that becomes a problem. So when you can add something creative in, or just do something different every once in a while, it really helps to spice things up and break that cycle of anxiety that starts up where it's like, you say “time for the bath” and you know your kid's going to be like, "I don't want to take a bath!!” And it happens every bath night. So instead of it happening, you can introduce something like this to make it more fun. You could even do every Tuesday or every Tuesday and Thursday is going to be surprise bath night. You just do something different, like turn the lights off. Nothing crazy. Just something a little bit more creative to keep your kid on their toes and not resisting bath so much. Then they might be looking forward to it like, "Oh, what cool thing are we going to do tonight?"
If your kiddo doesn’t want to get out of the bath
If your kiddo refuses to get out of the bath, offer a trade. "Okay, I hear that you don't want to get out of the bath because you're having a good time, so I’ll trade you five more minutes of the bath if you give me five minutes of your screen time tomorrow. So you're going to lose five minutes of screen time tomorrow, and instead, we'll spend five more minutes in the bath now. Ok?"
This works great if there's something that you know that your kid is NOT going to want to trade, and then your kid's like, "No way, I'm out. I'm getting out of the bath right now. I'm not giving up my screen time for nothing!"
So that's a good way to do it too, where you've made getting out your child's choice. It's no longer you saying, "Get out right now. It's time for bed. I said so." You've offered them a choice, and they're making their choice. They're making the choice to get out.
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