I Am THAT Mom Who Doesn't Tuck Her Kids In

I don't tuck my kids in? Uh, no, no I don't.


This is when most people walk away from me shaking their heads.


I didn't say I don't LOVE my children. I only said I don't tuck them in. On top of that, I think it's a good thing.


I don't tuck my kids in?! It's true. It was one of the best things we did for our bedtime. It may be just what you need for you and your kids. Come and decide for yourself.


Let me explain a bit better so you can rest easy knowing that my children aren't neglected and unloved.


Setting the Scene


It's night. We've had dinner, cleaned up, played, talked, or gone to whatever sport, class, or meeting we have for that night.

It's nearly bedtime. The kids are done. I'm done. Mr. Barlow is done.

What's a parent to do? Send the kids to bed.

Wait... that's IT?


Our bedtime routine

  1. Put your clothes away (laundry or hang up)
  2. Put your jammies on
  3. Brush your teeth
  4. Wash your face
  5. Family Scriptures (read 1/2 - 1 chapter together)
  6. Family Prayer
  7. Family Hug, followed by individual hugs and kisses for all
  8. Send them off to bed


That's it.

Sometimes, *gasp* we just have family prayer and hug and night night. Especially if it's been one of those days.

I won't lie, we've had days where it's just a hug and a send-off.

We don't...

  • We don't have read aloud time.
  • We don't talk to each child for 30 minutes.
  • We don't grab a pile of books, snuggle under the covers and read to each child until they drift off to sleep.
  • We don't make up stories or share stories by their beds.
  • We don't lay next to them until they fall asleep.
  • We don't rub their backs, put oils on them, rub lotion on them, or sing sweet lullabys to them.
  • We don't tuck them in.*

*If one of the kids asks me to tuck them in, I'll happily go up and tuck them in, accompanied with my favorite tucking of the blankets under their little selves while saying, "snug as a bug in a rug." Kiss their sweet faces, turn the lights off, blow them a kiss and say, "sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite."


Fun fact: this phrase stresses my kids out. BED BUGS!?!?!?!  AHHHHHHhhhhhh!!!!!

I had a 5 minute conversation calming my kids down after saying that once. Never mind that I'd said it to them multiple times. Perhaps they just never listened.  I digress.


What the heck is wrong with me and where is my supermom card so you can take it away??


Listen. I love my children. I love to spend time with them. In fact, I spend ALL day with them.

  • We read books together
  • We make up stories together
  • I share stories from when I was a kid
  • We talk in funny voices
  • Sing made up songs
  • Throw dance parties
  • Put on shows
  • Color
  • Go on walks
  • and much more

Heck, we homeschool; that should count for something!

The only thing different is it's during the DAY, not at night.

I don't tuck my kids in?! It's true. It was one of the best things we did for our bedtime. It may be just what you need for you and your kids. Come and decide for yourself.

Why it's a good thing


When they were smaller I would sing a special song, talk to them, smooth their foreheads, read books and the whole bedtime showtime that so many parents put on nightly. Guess what?

They didn't go to sleep. They stayed up for hours talking, playing, doing whatever it was that children do when they'd rather do anything except sleep.

When we eliminated all that stuff they went to bed. They went to sleep right when we closed the door.

Not instantaneously, of course. Within minutes though.

They ALL shared a room, too.


Now, we have both girls in one room and the three boys in another. The boys are 9, 6, and 1.5. They all go to bed at the same time and they all go right to sleep.


I Am THAT Mom Who Doesn't Tuck Her Kids In



I have friends that go through a circus performance nightly, are wiped out, and still wind up having their kids climb in bed with them just a few hours later because they can't get to sleep.

To them, I'd love to say, cut out the stuff and just send them to bed. When it's time to sleep, it's time to sleep.


Keep in mind

We do have a no-nonsense approach to parenting though. We use the same principles to have our children sit still and be quiet.

My 20-month-old, son just Friday, sat next to me for 2 hours while his siblings swam in an indoor pool. He didn't whine, didn't cry, didn't make a fuss to get down.

He was content with his drink, one bag of fruit snacks, and his cow.

Oi, this isn't about sitting still.


My point is your kids CAN do it.

My kids aren't super special children. Well, they *are,* but they're not unique in the sense of being able to go to sleep or sit still for a few hours.

Your kids don't need the 2-hour long bedtime routine.

You shouldn't have to say, well, I want my kids in bed by 8, so I'd better start now at 6:30, which means we can't go out and do such and such, and on and on and on with more cutting everything out of your lives.

We put our kids to bed at 8:30. They start getting ready for bed around 8:15.

They do all the stuff they need to do (by themselves), come down, we read scriptures, say prayer, hug and kiss and then they're off to slumber.

What's the point of all this mumbo jumbo?

It's not to say I'm a better parent than you. That's NOT the case.

It's not to say you're doing it all wrong. I may have implied that at one point, actually... but that's no what I was trying to say.


The Real Point

  • You don't have to do a big production just because you think that's what makes a good mom or dad.
  • You don't have to feel guilty if you skip it or don't want to do it.
  • You don't have to feel guilty if you don't do it, or even if you do.
  • Simplifying may be what you and your children need.

If bedtime is too long, or too draining, or is a constant battle -- then I'd urge you to simplify and cut back, cut back, cut back.

We don't tuck our kids in and they still know how much we love and cherish them. They go to sleep without any fuss and battle. I then have the chance to end my day with some downtime: I can work, I can be with Mr. Barlow, I can draw and paint. I may even read a book. I can go to sleep early.

For us, it was the best choice.

I Am THAT Mom who doesn't tuck her kids in


What do YOU think? Do you do anything that some people would consider shady parenting?








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How to Teach Your Child Reverence - The Best Method

Sometimes you wonder why you even bother going to church...all you're doing is wrestling your child trying to get them to shush for 1 minute bursts. You can teach your child to be reverent without bribes, rewards, or death threats! CLICK to read more on the best method (and the easiest) to teach your child reverence. Reverence... doesn't have to be hard to teach.

You ask yourself, "why am I even bothering to go to church?"

What's the point when you miss most everything and you're wrestling a stinker child the entire time? Let me be the first to remind you that despite your struggles it really is worth it. That's all well and good, but we don't want to have church time equate a battle of the wills.

I have many people that ask me how I get my kids to be so reverent in church.


Please don't misunderstand, I'm not bragging. Nor am I saying my kids are heavenly angels 100% or even 90% of the time. They're regular children, just like everyone else's. Meaning, they get into trouble every day.

I am also not saying I am the master of parenting. Ha!

I AM saying it's possible to teach your children reverence (or quiet, to start with) without bribing, rewards, or death threats.


Here are the reverence rules:

Sometimes you wonder why you even bother going to church...all you're doing is wrestling your child trying to get them to shush for 1 minute bursts. You can teach your child to be reverent without bribes, rewards, or death threats! CLICK to read more on the best method (and the easiest) to teach your child reverence.

  1. No toys
  2. No paper and coloring things*
  3. No food*
  4. No more than one warning
  5. Don't reward bad choices

Okay, here's how it goes down.

Don't bring toys to church. NONE.

That is all. Do not bring toys. They do not need them. Honest.

How will they learn to listen to the service (or their teachers) if they are always playing with toys? I do NOT want to get into a debate about ADD/ADHD and all that goodness. Both my brothers and myself have these and trust me when I say, we went without toys and we were still happy and able to listen.

Same for coloring supplies

Ditch the coloring goodies. Leave them at home.

*There is a point you can re-introduce these. We'll talk about those in a minute.

Food is unnecessary!

Don't have your bag filled with fruit snacks, crackers, cheese, bananas, etc, etc.

If your child is over the age of 3 they don't need snacks at church. So don't bring any. The only exception to this is if your child has a real medical reason to have food accessible. A real one.

*If they're under the age of 3, bring only the minimal amount and not a bajillion choices. One or two things max, and a drink.

For instance, Teddy Bear is 19 months old now. We bring a sippy cup and a small snack bag of cereal or goldfish. ONE snack bag. It's not even all the way full. I only bring it out when it's necessary.

Seating Arrangements

They can sit in your lap or sit next to you. Those are the ONLY two options!

If they've over a certain age/size, then sitting in your lap would not be a good idea. My 6, 8, or 9 year old in my lap? I don't think so.

  • You don't let them get down to walk around by your feet.
  • You don't let them sit down on the floor.
  • You don't let them walk around the aisles or crawl around the aisles.

I do allow my children to stand on the benches until they reach an age/height that makes that inappropriate. Usually around 2.

One warning ONLY!

This shouldn't be a wrestling match. If they are misbehaving in ANY way (crying, whining, talking loudly, wrestling trying to get down, etc) you give them stern, but quiet direction. No threats, no warnings, no counting, no chances.

Here are some examples of things to say/do:

  • Tap them on the shoulder.
  • Tap them on the shoulder + "the look"
  • Tap them on the shoulder + a silent Shhhhh
  • "No more crying."
  • "Stop whining"
  • "You can sit next to me or sit in my lap. Those are your choices. You have 10 seconds to pick or I'll pick for you."  **Count the 10 seconds in your head only.** 
  • "It's time to be quiet"
  • "Stop. Now."


You only say it once!!

One time. Uno. Not two, not three, not one and a half. ONE. TIME.

Well, what happens when they do it again?

Pick them up as gently as the situation allows, and without fuss you remove them from the chapel. If they are too big to be carried, you hold their hand and lead them out. If they're too old for that, walk them out in any way you see appropriate but the least disruptive to those around you.

Even if you warned them 5 minutes ago, you remove them now. If it was significantly longer than 5 minutes, I'll leave it up to your discretion, just keep an eye on it. Don't let it become a pattern or habit. If it happens at regular intervals, drop the hammer after the first reminder no matter the time between the first offense and the second.

My recommendation: until their good behavior has been consistent I would remove them even if they didn't misbehave for 30 minutes. Then, when they have been consistent, I'd become more relaxed.

NOW... this is the important bit.

You've just removed your child from the chapel because of poor choices.

Do NOT set them down to walk/crawl around!

Do NOT talk with others in the hallway!


  1. Find a quiet corner or empty classroom. Preferably with a chair or table. Don't leave the church. Stay inside.
  2. Set them down on the chair (a table will do in a pinch).
  3. Say, "we will go back in when you are ready to stop ____."
  4. Do not say more.

Do not make eye contact. Do not engage with them at all. At all. If they get down, pick them up and set them back down. Do not say a word no matter how many times they get off the chair or how upsetting it can be.

Do not show them any type of emotion in your face, eyes, body, or voice. Just be calm and neutral. Take deep breaths and maybe find your own nearby spot to be quiet in.

Why are we doing this?

The reward for their good behavior is to go back into the chapel and sit down with their family.

If you let them run around or are talking to other people the reward for their behavior is to get out of the chapel and have fun. Not the message you want to send.

When they've stopped crying or whining for a sufficient amount of time then come back in. Look happy and calm. Sit back down and enjoy your church service.

My general rule of thumb: 1 minute per year they are old -- I'll do longer if I feel they're not quite done. It does need to be that whole amount of time.

For instance, Sweet Cheeks is 4. If she were to be set on the chair, I'd have her be quiet for at least 4 minutes. If she gets down at 3.5 minutes, or starts crying again at 3.5 minutes (or any other time), her time starts over when she stops crying or sits back down. No exceptions. It must be 4 minutes straight.

Repeat as many times as is necessary.

Here are some more things you may find helpful.

  • Sit up towards the front.
  • Don't sit next to their friends.
  • Don't sit next or near (in front of or behind) families with children that are rowdy and disruptive.

When my eldest was 4 we once made the mistake of sitting near a family with a boy his age. His parents literally had a backpack FULL of toys and a backpack FULL of food. No joke. TWO BACKPACKS full of stuff for their one child. My son saw that and went berserk. Of course he wanted those toys and food! I did too, and I'm an adult!

You can sit near other rowdy kids or friends when your kids have been able to sit through the whole service for a few months without having to be removed.

Now, this isn't because we're better than those children or parents. We're not. This is for your children to be able to develop their own discipline without having to work even harder than usual for it. Sitting still and quiet can be a real challenge for some. Let's make it as easy as possible on them.

  • When your kids are older and have been reverent for some time (more than a few months), then you may bring a FEW sheets of paper and a small set of writing utensils. One pencil, one pen, or a FEW crayons/colored pencils (not the whole box).

My children receive these items after the sacrament portion of the service is over. This could be your communion, or other really important part of the service. Or about 1/3 through.

I don't even allow these items to be used every Sunday.

If they slip into bad habits they are removed.

  • When the older children need a drink of water or to go to the bathroom they are to leave quietly go about their business and return promptly. If it's been some time I either send an older child, or my husband or I go to check on them. If they're caught playing, talking, or dawdling, they will now have to be taken to the bathroom/water fountain for the next month.

[Tweet "Teaching children to be reverent is easier than I thought!"]

That's it!!

I realize that some of you may find this approach strict and even mean. You're allowed to believe what you believe. I, however, disagree with your disagreement. ;)

I have used this approach with each of my children with great success and without a ton of work. My rowdiest child was calm after two Sundays of "work."  I haven't had to take him out ever again.

I also see the fruits of my labor in other areas. When we go to a doctor or dentist appointment, if we have any meeting where they are required to sit still and be quiet, they can do it and it's not a power struggle. When they're at their sports practice, dance class, they are usually the only kid paying attention to their coach or teacher. They pay attention in their homeschool co-op and aren't chattering away with their friends when they should be working or listening.

Most important to me, my children listen to the church service, they listen in their Sunday School classes and actively participate. That is how children go from learning to sit still and be quiet, to learning to show true reverence.

This is how they are given the opportunity to learn the gospel, grow closer to their Father in Heaven and the Savior. To learn truths that will bless their lives forever. That is the biggest win of all.

This is perfect for pinning!!

Sometimes you wonder why you even bother going to church...all you're doing is wrestling your child trying to get them to shush for 1 minute bursts. You can teach your child to be reverent without bribes, rewards, or death threats! CLICK to read more on the best method (and the easiest) to teach your child reverence.

Let me know how it goes!

Have any questions? Success stories? Please share them below!






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Get Rid of Chore Time Battles Once and for All

Problems with getting the kids to do their chores? Kids taking for granted their privileges?


This was me about a month ago.


We always have had our kids doing chores, but it was a major battle. Especially their toys and bedroom.


I wanted to burn their rooms to the ground and chuck every single stinkin' toy. Because melted plastic is toxic.


Chore time can be a real bummer sometimes. It's such a necessary thing to implement and enforce that we can't just give up. I've found a solution to help end any battles you may be having. Click to save your home!


I get a newsletter every day with a list of free/discounted ebooks and I found this awesome book that changed my world. I am not exaggerating.


Chore time can be a real bummer sometimes. It's such a necessary thing to implement and enforce that we can't just give up. I've found a solution to help end any battles you may be having.


PLAY The Discipline Solution: A New System Motivates Children to Do Chores while Teaching Life Skills & Self Discipline WITHOUT Cash or Spanking (aff)


What it's all about (aka the hokey pokey)

I don't want to give the whole book away so I won't go into a ton of detail here.

  • They each have 2 jobs they do every day (their choice) and they will get paid for it.
  • Paid with Mom Dollars (we call it Barlow Bucks) that look like real money.
  • They are fined for misbehavior.
  • They pay for privileges and extras (electronics:phone, tv, computer, video games; friend over; treat; activity; and more).
  • If they don't have enough money to cover their fine they are grounded for a certain amount of time per dollar owed.
  • There are laws that both children and parents have to follow.


How we introduced it

During our weekly Family Night we sat the kiddos down. They saw all the printed money and papers and could hardly stand to wait for me to show them what the money was all about.


We talked about how laws worked in the real world and the consequences for breaking and obeying those laws. We also talked about the commandments and the consequences for those as well. Then we introduced the program and how it all ran.


It was a lot for them to take in. If I could do it over again I'd talk less about the real world and more about the program. Then talk more about the real world as needed.


The first day (the road to heaven)

They woke up bright and early and got to cleaning right away. They were stoked.

I did have to have them go back and walk them each through their chores. The best part was they were happy with my feedback, rather than the usual whine-fest. They got it done and got paid! Victory!




The hardest part? The fines. Man did they get fined up the wazoo that first day. Fine after fine after fine. They were grounded within an hour.

It was tough on me and tough on them. But I persevered. I felt like a pioneer or a hero or something.  I refused to give in to feeling bad about taking their money away. I refused to give in to anger when they threw a huge tantrum because they lost their money.


The next days








They had a rough few days. They did their chores, they got fined, they got grounded. They did more chores and more fines, and more grounding.


Then. The angels sang.


They finally got it. They finally stopped sneaking food ($30 fine), stopped tattling ($6 fine), stopped fighting ($9 fine), stopped wasting food ($3 fine). They were so much happier. I was too.


They were able to buy a can of soda ($6), a treat ($6), video game time ($12), TV time ($12), and just this past weekend go to a movie ($80).


I'll be real - they weren't perfect of course. I can tell you their bad behavior was reduced 90%. 90 freaking awesome percent. That's pretty much as good as 100%.



Pros and Cons

Let me list out the pros and cons of this program for ya.


Chore time can be a real bummer sometimes. It's such a necessary thing to implement and enforce that we can't just give up. I've found a solution to help end any battles you may be having.


  • Flexible
  • Printables all ready made for you
  • Motivating
  • Learn about $$
  • Independence
  • Clean house
  • No whining about chores
  • Structure
  • No guessing about rules and consequences
  • Happier family



  • Not clear on some of the rules (ex: grounding rule)
  • Tattling issues*
  • Some chores not done**


Tattling issues*

I've got 5 kids. I'm pretty sure I raised them up to be tattlers. I know, whatever. Judge away.


Here's an example. Please tell me when Sweet Cheeks is getting into the bathroom. Please tell me if The Animal isn't doing his chores (pre-P.L.A.Y. program). And on. The tattling took a while for them to understand what it was. However, now I had the problem of not being able to have my kids tell me if someone was doing something wrong.

I had to now figure out who was sneaking the apples and not be told who it was.

I'm telling you, sneaking food has always been a problem. They'll wake up at 3-4 am to go downstairs and get some food. No, we don't starve them. They get 3 meals a day and a snack.

Yes, I am watching my children and interacting with them. When  you have 5 you are not able to physically be with all 5 at once at every moment and nor should you.


Chores issue**

Before this program we would always have one kid in charge of dishes, one for the laundry, one for the vacuuming. They would all clean the playroom, living room, and bedroom.

Well, now they each pick 2 chores a day and there are quite a bit of chores to choose from. This means that some days I won't have anyone doing the dishes. Or they could have a disaster of a bedroom (every day) and no one wants to do that chore so it just sits there filthy. That is not cool.


Tweaks we made

Angela  is all about you customizing to fit P.L.A.Y. to your family. Bless her soul. She's awesome.


  • Reduced time on electronics (on the chart it says $12 for 2 hours).

That's just too much to me, so it's now $6/1 hour.

  • Only allowed to buy one treat per day (1 soda or 1 treat, not both).

In the future I'll be picking healthier treats and non-food treats as well.

  • Have to do something while grounded (extra chores, own chores, school worksheets, reading, etc).
  • Do required chores before they can do extra ones.

Since there are so many chores on the list, I want to make sure the basic ones get done before any extra ones that aren't necessary for daily cleaning.

  • I pick what those required chores are each day.

They still chose their chores, however, if no one did the dishes yesterday and I need them done, that's a required chore for today that someone has to pick. This ensures that the dishes don't overflow and their room isn't a war zone for the whole week.


I have set times throughout the day for them to do their chores during the school year. Chore #1 is after lunch and Chore #2 is before dinner. We may tweak it to be after breakfast and lunch that way they'll have more time to do extra chores if they want to earn more money.


Chores my kids can do

My 8 and 6.5 year olds can do: dishes, laundry (wash, dry, fold, put away), kitchen, mop, living room, play room, bedroom, clean out fridge, bathrooms, mop, etc.

My 5 year old can do these: laundry (wash, dry, fold, put away), kitchen, mop, living room (including vacuum), play room, bedroom, hallway & stairs, microwave, and bathrooms. We haven't let him do the dishes just yet. Maybe in another few months.

My 2.5 year old: help fold towels and blankets, put them away. Pick up garbage, put away toys, dishes in sink, pillows on couch. I want to start helping and teaching her to put more things away and to do it better, but I've been a little swamped lately and have let it slide.


Chore time can be a real bummer sometimes. It's such a necessary thing to implement and enforce that we can't just give up. I've found a solution to help end any battles you may be having.


There are lots of resources for age-appropriate chores your kids can do.

I'm of the mind that your kids can do a whole heck of a lot more than you think they can.

They may do it slower and not just the way you think it ought to be done, but they can do it. You will need to do it with them a few times before they get it and your standards. Do them a favor: have high standards. If there are Cheerios still on the ground after they vacuumed have them do it again. If there are smudges on the bathroom mirror have them do it again.

Make sure you point out what they've done well and then redirect the items that need to be done again. When framed like this my kids are more confident and compliant.


Final thoughts

I absolutely love P.L.A.Y.! It has done all the hard work for me by setting up the system and making the printables for me. My whole family is all on the same page. We all know what to expect from each other. There is more follow through because I don't have to make up a consequence each time something happens.

I highly highly highly recommend this to every parent. Even if your kids aren't struggling with chores and privileges. It is so incredibly cheap that it's even more awesome!


What is the biggest battle in your home?

What have you tried?


Have a wonderful day my friends!

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♥ Rochelle

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