Following up on your response to my last post.
We have been having problems with bed time. My husband does bath time then my son and I brush teeth, put on pj’s, read a book or two, turn off the light read, tuck him into his bed (in a toddler bed) sing like four short songs, do a few min of snuggles/kisses/raspberries (this usually makes him laugh) and then say goodnight. He is constantly trying to draw out the time that this takes and not at the end he is now wanting more of something and now getting out quite a bit. So I tried
10. Bedtime – When there’s still time to play in the evening, put your child into their bed, and then say invitingly, ”I hope you don’t get out of bed, ” and leave the door open, as you leave. Let them run out of the room and appear. Act all surprised and then say, ”Oh dear, I better get you back to bed again.” Repeat until any excess energy or tension has disappeared, and your child is happy to go to sleep for real. Laughter induces melatonin the sleep hormone, so this is the perfect way to end the day.
From the article you recommended. I did not do it just as she stated. When he got out of bed I acted surprised and was playful with him… he giggled a tone then picked him up and brought him back to bed tucked him in and gave him a kiss goodnight. We both enjoyed it for the first 10 minutes or so, but then he started asking for something each time I put him in bed (water, night light on, sing again, book, etc) He started getting angry (pulling hair, hitting, biting), it felt like he was going to see what would get the reaction for me, I did my best to think positive thoughts, remain playful, set appropriate limits, in the end I did slow down give him a few long hugs, we were both tired and after 40 min he finally stayed in his bed and went to sleep. I had hoped that the next night is where I would see the benefits of doing this, but I was afraid be playful with him because I could not do another night of 40 min past the normal bed time routing, I did not have the energy or ability. So I simply put him back to be and let him know it was time for bed with hugs and kisses and it worked. So, more will be revealed. It is really hard in the middle of doing something new like this to know if I am on the right track or not and/or what direction to go.
Good for you for giving it a go! Yahoo! Well done! That takes great courage to do things a little differently at bedtime as we are usually out of gas and we just want them to GO TO SLEEP!! (:
Here are a couple of ideas that might make things even easier:
A horrible bedtime was what brought me to Hand in Hand Parenting by Connection. What I learned from Patty was to put as much connection into our bedtime as possible. I started thinking of bedtime starting about 4 or 5 pm. I tried to make our whole afternoon/evening kind of seamless in terms of connection. So, afterschool, we would do Special Time. Then my son could play for awhile while I got dinner. After dinner I gave him piggy back rides or we played chase games and did flips on the bed to the tub. Then we’d do more wild rides and flips on the bed; a pillow fight or some wrestling. Then I’d put on the music and turn out the light and my son would crawl into my lap and drift off to sleep. It was my favorite time of day.
I think it’s easier to set a firm loving cuddly limit around bedtime if you’ve had lots of rough n tumble play before hand. Most nights, when we followed the routine I gave you above, my son drifted right off. Occasionally, he did not. He would fly into a tantrum when I went to turn out the light and throw himself around the bed, crying. I knew that he had some big feelings he needed to release. But since I’d started so early, I still had the time and energy to listen.
Here are a couple of articles on staylistening at night.
Kali, I noticed that you have posted to start a listening partnership. That is so great! It’s really tough to listen to our kiddos at night. I think having a listening partner to whom we can complain, laugh and cry about how hard it is, is really helpful and will give you much more patience.
You are doing really well! Come back with any questions and let us know how it goes..
Peace & Smiles,
Parenting by Connection Certified Instructor
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“If we are to teach real peace in the world, we shall have to begin with children” – Gandhi