Parents Bribe Kids to Put the Bedtime Battle to Rest, Study Shows

Filed under: In The News, Sleep

bribing kids

Bribing really works in matters of bedtime. Credit: Getty Images

Getting kids to bed at night often requires the tactical negotiating skills of a SWAT team on an anti-terrorism bust. You're the enemy of the state, and your own sleep is being held hostage by your 8-year-old tethered to his Nintendo DS.

Desperate times call for desperate measures, so leave it to the Brits to come up with a secret weapon for parents to win the bedtime battle: Bribe the little brats.

The British company Munch Bunch recently released a study of 3,000 British parents, showing that more than one in five moms and dads resort to bribing their kids to go to bed, London's Daily Mail reports.

Parents surveyed say it takes them more than an hour to haggle and negotiate with their kids before turning the lights off, an evening ritual more than one third of the parents say is more stressful than their daily commute to and from work, according to the newspaper.

"'Bedtime can be a real nightmare, a constant battle of wills," Kate Evans, a mother of two sons, ages 4 and 8, tells the Daily Mail. "I work all day in the office and come back home tired, but putting the boys to bed is the hardest part of my day."

Bribing tactics include, according to the Daily Mail:

  • 17 percent of parents say they promised a later weekend bedtime
  • 28 percent let the kids watch TV "a bit more"
  • 6 percent bribed the little tykes with brownies, cookies and other sweets

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.