Ever notice that at the end of a college basketball game, the losing team usually fouls the other team repeatedly, dragging out the game in hopes of pulling off an improbable comeback? Kids are kind of like that at bedtime. They want to drag everything out in hopes of scoring a few more precious moments of fun and play.

That’s where you — the ref — come in to play. Your job is to avoid that at all costs.

Here are nine mistakes that you cannot afford to make at bedtime:

1. Limitless Liquids

Let your kids have water or drinks right before bed. That’s a recipe for bedwetting and a miserable night for everyone.

2. Allow Endless Story Time

They keep asking for another story and you give in. This is another ploy to stay up as late as possible.

3. Leave Out All the Toys

Undoubtedly, there will be some toys, because that’s just the way it is. But too many toys will be too enticing for them to focus on sleep.

4. Let Them Choose Their Bedtime

This is a no-brainer. You set the bedtime. End of story.

5. Co-Sleep

Let them sleep in your bed. Once you let this happen, they’ll want to sleep in your room night after night. The outcome? No one gets a good night’s sleep.

6. Let Them Be Boss

Your kindergartner or preschooler can do a lot of things on their own, but the whole bedtime routine — brushing teeth, getting their pajama’s on, and getting in bed — is not one of them. You need to be there to manage the situation.

7. Allow Procrastination

Let them have “just one more show.” When it’s time to shut the television off, it’s time to shut the television off. That’s the way it is. As mentioned before, your kids will use every trick in the book to drag out bedtime. 

8. Slack on Hygiene

Let them skip tooth brushing. By the end of another long day, it might seem easier to let the kids skip brushing their teeth. It’s only one night, right? Wrong. That will set a terrible precedent and, more importantly, could lead to cavities and other dental problems.

9. Keep Chatting

Don’t keep engaging them. As soon as you shut out the lights, the questions and demands will ramp up. If you stay at the door to answer every query and meet every demand, you’ll be there all night. At some point, you must walk away.

How do you keep bedtime routines as quick as possible? Share with us!