I have a 3.5 year old who recently started resisting his afternoon nap. He always went to sleep nursing, and after weaning (1 year ago) I bought my first stroller and we started taking walks to help him go to sleep. I've never forced it and he's always been willing. Recently, he's started resisting the stroller walk, but he really needs his nap still and will melt down around dinner time for hours, sometimes fall asleep in his soup, etc. Then he's up till midnight or later, which gets really rough for me.
I don't force things that are not safety issues, and I'd love for him to opt for the stroller walk himself, but at 3.5, I don't know that he can make the connection between how he is feeling and how much sleep he's had. It took me into my late 20s to make that connection, and by then I was a mama so there was no way I was going to get enough sleep ;o)
So what do you do when your young ones need to sleep and don't want to?