I was thinking tonight...... after I put the boys to bed by myself (something that happens at least two nights a week, according to Paul's work schedule)...... We don't really have bedtime battles around here.
Although I would like to interject: for the most part. They do happen occasionally.
I am really grateful I don't have to deal with bedtime fights. When Paul's gone, my sanity is limited if I have to deal with whining and defiance. Maybe we have really good boys (we do, of course), but I think it's in part to the hard-nosed stance we've had on bedtime since the get-go.
And by "since the get-go" I mean, since they moved to their big-boy beds. I am definitely a pushover when it comes to rocking and nursing a baby back to sleep.
Part of it may be that we make sure they're tired at bedtime. We don't have a strict bed time. If they didn't nap, it's earlier. If they played hard outside all day, it's earlier. If we've just laid around watching movies all day.... It may be 10 o'clock before we start our bedtime routine. We can get by with this because we don't have anywhere to be in the mornings.
We pretty much have a no-tolerance policy once lights are out. We try to make sure everything is done on the first go - potty, brush teeth, drink, collect stuffed animals. Often, I will give them one chance - unless I specifically asked them to take care of it before they went upstairs. (Like if the excuse is, "I need a drink," and they drank a whole glass of water right before they came up.) And if there is a valid reason - scared of the howling wind or if their music turned off before he gets to sleep - I will let it slide.
But, yes, we do spank them for getting out of bed. And I don't think it's wrong to do so. If they've gotten up once (several times), I give them a warning, and have them repeat the warning, so they know if they are deliberately disobeying. And you know what? Usually, all we have to give is the warning. Paul and I can have grown-up time (or I can have alone time), without worrying about little feet on the stairs.
And quite frankly, I like that.