New York, NY – Parents - across the US, UK, France, Canada, Australia, Brazil, and Mexico - who are in charge of getting their children tucked in at night say that it takes an average of 17.5 minutes each night trying to get their children to bed, according to a new study conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs on behalf of Netflix. Getting their kids to bed can be a challenge for many, with six in ten reporting that their children have come up with some creative stall tactics to try and delay bedtime (61%). Further, nearly eight in ten (79%) saying that they sometimes make compromises with their children to get them to go to bed, with the most common negotiating tactic being giving their children 5 more minutes of whatever it is they are doing (38%).
Time Spent on Bedtime
While about four in ten parents of children ages two to ten say that they typically can get their child tucked into bed in 10 minutes or less, including 16% who spend less than five minutes getting their child into bed, and another 24% who say they can typically accomplish this in about 6-10 minutes, for many parents it is a longer process. Nearly three in ten (27%) spend about 11 – 20 minutes on bedtime routines, with another one in five (20%) saying that it usually takes them between 21-30 minutes to get their child into bed. Nearly one in ten (8%) say it takes up to 45 minutes, and another 5% say it takes even longer than that.
- Parents living in France typically spend significantly less time trying to get their children into bed compared to those in all other markets, with bedtime averaging 12.3 minutes. Respondents from Australia, averaging a bedtime of 16.5 minutes, are also among those most likely to spend the least amount of time getting their children into bed.
When thinking about how many nights over the course of an average week their children go to bed on time, parents across markets say that their children go to bed on time 69% of the time - or 4.8 days a week, on average. This includes more than a third who say that their children go to bed on time 5 nights a week (36%), and another one in seven each who say their kids go to bed on time 6 (15%) or even 7 (15%) nights a week. While at least one in ten manage to accomplish getting their kids tucked in on time 3 (10%) or 4 (17%) nights a week, very few parents say that their children go to bed on time only once (3%) or twice (5%) a week.
- Respondents from France not only spend the least amount of time putting their kids to bed, but they are also significantly more likely than parents in all other markets to say that their children go to bed on time (average of 5.1 nights a week). Parents from Mexico (4.9), the UK (4.8), and Canada (4.8) also fare rather well here, on par with the global average.
Bedtime Stall Tactics
More than six in ten parents say that their children have come up with some creative stall tactics to try and delay bedtime (61%) – although this is especially true among parents living in the US (66%), Mexico (65%), and the UK (64%). In addition, more than two in five parents further agree that their kid’s stall tactics frequently work to delay their bedtimes (44%), and that these tactics can be too cute or so clever that parents give in and let their kids stay up past their bedtimes (41%).
- Brazilian parents (52%), and to a lesser extent American parents (49%), are among those most likely to say that their child’s stall tactics frequently work to delay bedtime.
- Parents living in Mexico, in their turn, are significantly more likely to say that they give in and allow their children to stay up past their bedtime thanks to the cute and clever tactics their children use (60%), while those in Brazil (44%), the UK (42%) and the US (41%) follow here, though at a distance.
- Those in France are significantly less likely than those from all other markets to agree that their children’s stall tactics frequently work to delay their bedtime (29%) and that these tactics are so cute/ clever that they give in and let their children stay up (29%).
The most common age cited for when children begin to display bedtime stall tactics across markets is between 3 (23%) and 4 (20%) years old – although a similar proportion of parents say that their child’s stall tactics started as early as 2 (18%), or again not until 5 years old (14%). In comparison, stall tactics performed by 1 year olds are not as common, with only 7% of parents saying that this is the age around which their child first began to exhibit such behavior. Similarly, parents are not as likely to say that their children didn’t start using bedtime stall tactics until they were ages 6 (8%) or older (10%; ages 7-10).
When it comes to different styles of stall tactics, the “just 5 more min” negotiator (42%) and the “super starved/ or sooo thirsty” routine (41%) are most commonly witnessed by parents across markets; while roughly a third each say that their children try to stall by using flattery (I love you mom/dad!) (33%), or by acting as slow as snails (31%). One in six parents say that their children try to be clever tricksters (18%) or act forever forgetful (15%), while standing naked in protest is not as likely to be used as a stall tactic by children these days (5%). One in ten parents mention some other stall tactic (8%), while a slightly greater proportion say that none of these is closest to the stall tactic style of their child (12%).
- The ‘"just 5 more min" negotiator tactic (51%) is especially prevalent in Brazil; while children from both Brazil and Mexico show elevated preference towards using flattery (47% and 46%, respectively), and being clever tricksters (22% and 33%). Parents in Mexico are also especially likely to say that their children act ‘forever forgetful’ (27%) in order to stall their bedtime, compared to parents from all other markets who say the same.
- Parents in France (17%) and those from Australia (15%) are significantly more likely to say that none of these tactics are closest to the stall tactics of their own children.
Roughly a third of all parents say that after trying everything else, they sometimes have to trick their kids to get them into bed (35%) – although this is especially true among parents living in Mexico (45%), Brazil (39%), and the US (38%). Meanwhile, a slightly smaller proportion admit – though reluctantly so – that one of the quickest ways to get their kid into bed is a bribe (28%), with respondents from the US, the UK, and Mexico all standing out this time as those most likely to agree here (33% in each market).
In fact, nearly eight in ten (79%) say that they sometimes make compromises with their children to get them to go to bed – and giving children 5 more minutes of whatever it is they are doing (38%) is the most common negotiating strategy among all parents. Three in ten promise their children a fun activity the next day (30%) or the chance to stay up later on the weekends (29%), while one in five get their children to go to bed by letting them watch part of a TV show (19%), get food/eat a snack (18%), or watch one more full TV show (16%). Parents are not as likely to say they’ll do whatever it takes (7%) to get their children to go to bed, although nearly one in ten negotiate in this manner, while very few use money (4%) or something else (5%) to help get their kids to go to bed. One out of every five (21%) parents say that they never make compromises to get their child to go to bed – especially those from France (33%), and to a lesser extent parents from Australia (26%).
That Last Snuggle
The time and effort taken to put children to bed is well worth it for parents, with nearly nine in ten across markets agreeing that the last snuggle, once their child is quietly tucked into bed, is one of the most special parts of their day (87%). However, more than half of all parents nevertheless admit that getting their child to bed on time can be a struggle (51%), and even more wish they had a way to make it easier to get their children to bed (56%).
- While respondents in the US are significantly more likely to admit that getting their child into bed on time can be a struggle compared to those in other markets (61%), those in Mexico stand out as being significantly more likely to wish they had a way to make it easier to get their children into bed (74%).
Netflix’s Solution to Bedtime Struggles
Reactions to the notion of a popular streaming entertainment company creating a series of short, 5-minute TV episodes featuring some of their children’s favorite characters is largely positive – with more than half of all parents agreeing that these would make their bedtime battles more manageable (55%), and similar proportions wishing that someone had thought of this sooner (55%) and agreeing that such a product/concept would be a lifesaver (50%). Although respondents are not as likely to say that they wouldn’t find this concept helpful, more than two in five (46%) do align here.
- Respondents from Brazil and Mexico and considerably more likely to agree that this type of episode would make bedtime more manageable, while also standing out as wishing someone had thought of this sooner and agreeing that the concept would be a lifesaver. Those in the US mirror this pattern, though from a distance.
These are findings from an Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Netflix, fielded September 2nd – 23rd, 2015. For the survey, a sample of 7,277 adults between the ages 18 and over living in one of the US, UK, France, Canada, Australia, Brazil, or Mexico, was interviewed online, including 7,087 respondents who say that they are the primary parent responsible for getting their child tucked into bed at night at least some of the time (approximately 1,000 parents in each country). The precision of the Reuters/Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 1.3 percentage points for all parents. The data were weighted to the U.S. current population data by gender and age based on Census data. Statistical margins of error are not applicable to online polls. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error and measurement error. Where figures do not sum to 100, this is due to the effects of rounding.
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