Its night time, almost time for bed. You tell your kids while they're playing that it's time to clean up, brush teeth, and go to sleep. Guess what happens? Tantrums. No end to it.
After sometime, we learned something: kids don't follow you just because you said so. At least that's how I see it. Shift your point of view to your kid's for just a minute: would you like it if you're busy saving the world (or blowing it up) when your mom or dad told you that it's time to go to bed? Not likely. You're finally winning and enjoying your time in the spotlight then all of that stopped when your mom or dad steals your thunder and tells you to go to bed. That's not right! We won't stand for it! We need justice! :))
No one likes force directed at them, especially one that forces a change in whatever they are currently enjoying. The natural response is to resist; and for some kids, they have an endless list of what that means. Tantrums. Crying. Shouting. Scratching. Clawing. Kicking (my son has some pretty nasty kicks, powered by those big beefy legs of his). Shouting louder. Destruction. Mayhem. You name it.
When kids enjoy something they're doing right now, they won't stop, and they don't want to stop. At least not right now. Inertia.
At this age when your kids have been socializing a bit, they recognize their self-worth. And they want to have their own authority. And they exert their will to anything and anyone! :) It makes them feel important (because they are but they're just grasping that concept now) and they want to do things their own way and at their own time.
Forcing a change against their will is catastrophic. Believe me I know. Been there, done that, still doin' it from time to time. So no, don't force a sudden change to your kid. Ease him into it. Give him some time to prepare for this change.
That's when we stumbled on this gem of simplicity: a timer.
As playtime is about to end, we told him that he still has 10 minutes which we set on our timer. The next steps that he wanted was that after the alarm goes off, he is to brush his teeth, then weewee, then read one bedtime story book, then listen to a made-up "once upon a time" story, pray, kiss mommy and daddy, milk, then go to sleep. When timer expires and the alarm goes off, he excitedly drops whatever he's doing (as if he's been waiting eagerly for the alarm to sound off finally -- because at this point, he is now READY) and goes to us to brush his teeth.
You don't give in to him and he doesn't give in to you. You compromise. Your kid feels you recognize his/her self-worth by respecting his/her to continue playing for 10 minutes more, giving them enough time to say goodbye to their toys (although they don't actually say it out loud). And you don't have to suffer through a pointless gauntlet of tantrums, crying, shouting, scratching, whatever.
Just sharing for fellow parents who might be running out of ideas. :)