Bedtime Blues

So, I would bet just about everyone reading this has heard, read or BEEN a parent complaining about children and SLEEP!

BEDTIME BLUES

It’s a MAJOR issue with MOST children. Now, there are probably a GAZILLION theories about WHY they do it and HOW they do it.

All I offer you are 3 techniques with which I have had success.

Now, while each technique is, on it’s own, successful,

The most success can be had when you implement all 3 techniques during each stage of their early lives.

#1- It begins at birth

#2- Be TOUGH on TODDLERS!

#3- Create a habit for life

By using these 3 techniques throughout each stage of their growth, you set them up to have better sleeping habits throughout life.

#1- It Begins at BIRTH!

From the first moments when your child is in your arms, falling asleep, you have a decision.

A) Begin a pattern, that sets your child up for a healthy sleep routine that will encourage their young minds to grow

B) Begin a pattern, that while momentarily and temporarily WONDERFUL, can become DESTRUCTIVE and PAINFUL

Yeah, look me in the pixels and tell me you’d choose B. lol

What I’m talking about is rocking your baby to sleep. Now, I do not mean you cannot ROCK your baby while he/she is DRIFTING off to sleep. But when those final moments come, right before they are truly going to go to sleep, place them in their bed. THEIR BED. Both of those things are EQUALLY important.

By placing a baby in their bed BEFORE they actual fall asleep you are encouraging them to SELF-SOOTHE. What this means, is that they learn to handle their own need for comfort. This is the beginning steps to creating an independent child, as well.

Equally important is placing them in their DESIGNATED SLEEPING PLACE.

Now, though it can be beneficial to have a “Nap Time” Place and a “Bed Time” place, neither place should be YOUR BED. Now, I’m not saying that you cannot EVER sleep with your child. There are special occasions. But it is important to set a PATTERN in their brain for WHERE sleep should exist. Not only will this encourage their bodies to actually prepare FASTER for sleep, it will ALSO encourage independence.

So, though it may be tempting to watch those baby eyes close and that body melt,

Please, do your CHILD  a favor and place them in their bed, instead.

(Try allowing your child to come into bed in the MORNING, when it is near time to wake up.)

(This is a good tip for stay at home moms once your partner has left for work!)

In addition to those two MAJOR techniques, you can include minor ones that will aide in the ease with which your infant drifts off to dreamland. Like taking a bath right before bed and using a “calming” soap, playing calming/classical music while they sleep, etc.

#2- Be TOUGH on TODDLERS!

As your child grows, generally, so will their desire to avoid bedtime.

The ONLY thing you can do is   MAINTAIN A ROUTINE  and   BE CONSISTENT.

As your toddler grows, develop a routine and MAINTAIN it. OF COURSE, life will throw you curve balls, just TRY to do the routine as OFTEN AS POSSIBLE. THAT is all that matters, you try. And when you cannot, you try to maintain as many PIECES of the routine as possible. So, here is a good routine:  Straighten up room, Bath, Brush teeth, Sing a Song, Read a Book, Lights Out.

But. everyone’s routine is different. Just create one. And make sure you tell your child each step in the routine.

(You can even make a poster with numbers, pictures and words depicting each step)

But even more importantly is YOUR CONSISTENCY in LEAVING THEM to sleep.

Because if your toddler is anything like MOST toddlers, they are going to FIGHT. lol And that’s perfectly normal! But the reason why it is so important to remain consistent is because it builds respect for you and outlines the basis for your parental AFFECT on them. If you cave in, they may begin to WALK ALL OVER YOU.  Trust me, it can be VERY hard to hear their pain and not be able to rescue them. But you have to leave them be.

If your child gets up, you do what I call a “Reset”. You pick up or direct the child back to the designated sleeping place, get them back in bed and leave. Period. You simply “Reset” them.

And last, but certainly not least…

#3- Create a habit for life

When your child enters the 4-5yr range, it becomes important that you let them begin doing their routine ON THEIR OWN. There may be certain aspects of it the will need help with at first, but just about every type of GROOMING should be done. at the VERY least TOGETHER.

Example: Brush their teeth really well for them, explaining exactly how. Then let THEM do it and talk them through it. Eventually they will get good at it and you can begin to walk out or drain the tub or get their pajamas, etc. Then, leave them alone all together.

You can even eventually teach them how to do the toothpaste!

And you can do this with anything, like, washing themselves, wiping themselves, tying shoes, dressing, eating, etc.

Just apply that same formula: Do it for them, Let them do it, As they improve- step out and finally let them be.

And your child will give you subtle HINTS as to when each step should be taken.

By allowing them to do their own routine you actually help them to create the habit of going to bed each night as something they do for THEMSELVES. Not because you MAKE THEM. If you wait until LATER in life to PUSH them to do these things, they may rebel. Start young, they feel GOOD being able to have independence.

Therefore, encouraging independence.

Now, I’m not saying some might not disagree with me on any or ALL of my ideas. But, I used them with my girl and typically, we have no trouble with her going to bed.  So, perhaps you could try one or all of them and see if it helps!

Join me MONDAY as we continue with the Mommy BLUES, discussing POTTY TRAINING. Yes, the devil in TRAINING FORM! lol

But come back MONDAY and I’ll have tips on how to get them out of diapers and on the potty!

Until Next Time,

Wild Mommy MC

@wildmommymc

WildMommyMC@yahoo.com

Mommy Blues: Trouble with Trouble MAKERS!

So, the votes, finally totaled, had “Misbehaving: Acting Out” as number one.

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So let’s begin by talking about the different kinds of “acting out” that our kiddos do:

1- Tantrums- Crying / Screaming

2- Fighting others / Bullying

3- Mischievousness

Each of these 3 types can be handled in a MULTITUDE of ways, but I have suggestions on how to handle them with the LEAST amount of conflict and the MOST amount of character development in your child and deepening of respect for your word, alone.

Now, what I want to address FIRST is what I have come to call the “Counting Technique”.   A LOT of people will tell you “DO NOT COUNT”. BUT, they are WRONG! There really is only ONE policy that, if not in place, makes this technique fail. YOU MUST FOLLOW THROUGH! At the end of the count, 3, 5, whatever! You have to follow through with the severest of punishment. Mine is spanking when younger, time out incorporated when a little older. Then, as they get even older is becomes “You have such and such minutes to do this or…” you’re grounder, lose your phone, car, tv, xbox, ps3, laptop, WHATEVER! But ALWAYS you MUST FOLLOW THROUGH.

Now, we begin with

#1- Tantrums- Crying / Screaming

Now, obviously, there are TWO settings…

  • At home
  • In public / With company

So, I’ll address BOTH.

At home, it’s VERY SIMPLE. If your kid disobeys and they begin a TANTRUM. I mean, kicking screaming, flopping on the floor, the works. You pick them up, place them in their room and say “When you’re done throwing your tantrum, you may come out and apologize”. Then walk out and shut the door. Do NOT allow them out, do not talk to them. If they try to come out, you put them back in whatever spot they were before (It’s called a “RESET”) and walk out again. Keeping doing it, but never speak to them unless it is “No”. Continue until they stop. Believe me IT IS TIRING!!! But it is the EASIEST WAY to make a BEHAVIOR not just a temporary fix!

Now, if you are in public, there are TWO ways you can try, on is my mother’s way.

“Mama Knows Best”- I threw a tantrum once at Kmart, I believe and my just stopped and announced to the ENTIRE PARKING LOT “Attention, ATTENTION! Christy is throwing a tantrum and she’d like everyone to see, could you all please watch?” There weren’t many people in the lot, but I don’t think I ever threw a tantrum again. lol

Second way, is the “walk away”. You announce to them that you’re not going to wait for their tantrum and just continue on. Just make sure to turn a corner and wait…

Now, if the child is SCREAMING or CRYING, you can use the techniques above, but in addition, there is the “WHISPER techinque”, but it can only be used with a STILL child. You lean into their ear and WHISPER. What I mean is a whisper/yell/growl, whatever, something that sounds angry and disciplinarian like. What you say is “If you do not stop screaming/crying, right NOW, I am going to…” whatever your punishment may be. Then, again FOLLOW THROUGH!!!!!!!

So, onto

2- Fighting others / Bullying

Now, I separate the two because there is a level of FIGHTING that happens among kids. And sometimes, it may be best to let them work it out so long as it stays non violent, and under volume control. But, when it becomes loud or just non productive “mine” arguing. Here are my suggestions…

1- Take it away. If they are arguing over a toy or object, take it away and announce that because they cannot share it, they cannot have it. Easy.

2- Time out. Sit them both in time out but make them holds hands. When the time out is over they can try to share the toy again.

If they get physical and there is hitting/kicking/pushing, I recommend letting all parties share their side of the story, then making every who needs to apologize, do so.

For biting, I personally use the “bite back” rule. If a kid bites, I bite them in the same place. Obviously, not as hard, but hard enough to make the point. You may disagree, but I know this works well. Usually within a couple of bites.

But. If you have a bully… that is different. For one, teach your kids as they are growing to always MAKE FRIENDS with EVERYONE! That can really help develop a good kid. But, if they end up bullying anyways, here are my choices. For non physical bullying I recommend time out. If you can include a CHORE, do so. For PHYSICAL bullying I recommend physical punishment. Meaning, spanking. Of course, many parents disagree, and I can see why. But I know this works, like I have said before, and fairly quickly. If they hit/kick/push/etc. you spank and time out. Bites, of course, in my book deserve return bites and time outs.

And then we have

3- Mischievousness

Now, first I’m going to tell you, the BEST way to stop mischievousness is to WEAR THEM OUT. Make them get physical REGULARLY. Go to the park, dance in the living room, take a walk, WHATEVER! Just get them active and see if they start acting better.

HOWEVER, if they CONTINUE to get into things, start by putting up PERIMETERS or LOCKS. Either lock them out of areas you don’t want them in and lock cabinets, etc. Or, put up fences to keep them in smaller SECTIONS of the house. I don’t always recommend fencing them into ONE room, unless it is a LARGE one. I like to include bathroom for older children, as well. But usually I like to use the bedroom, bathroom and living room so they have options. But if it’s not possible, try putting the fence down the hallway to give them space outside the door, rather than placing the fenced INSIDE the door.

Then, if they get mischievous with something, remove it, or them from it. If they end up in a boring room, tell them it was their fault for using everything the WRONG ways. Give them a time to wait for a second chance and as long as they don’t act out again, allow them 1-3 toys, depending on circumstance, to try with again. Then slowly allow the toys back with good behavior or take them away for bad behavior.

But, you HAVE TO BE CONSISTENT AND HAVE TO FOLLOW THROUGH!

And that is the backbone for all parenting. Following through and being consistent.

Okay, so, join me FRIDAY when we discuss the next topic… BEDTIME BLUES!

We’ll have tips on getting your child to accept bedtime! I swear, they’ll totally be COOL with it. They may even put themselves to bed, after you use this special FORMULA! Join me WEDNESDAY for that special formula !

The Wild Mommy BLUES…

Motherhood, Draining Motherhood

Hey Everyone!

SO, Every Wild Mommy ( and Daddy, etc.) has one area their child meets with difficulty.

What I want to know is what was MOST difficult for YOU!

SO, VOTE, like RIGHT NOW!

Then SHARE this so all of your friends, whether mommies, daddies, cousins, friends, etc., can VOTE, too!

Until Next Time,

(Which is mondayMONDAYmonday)

Wild Mommy MC

@wildmommymc

WildMommyMC@yahoo.com