Just a quick post to say that maybe it’s because it’s Saturday and I’m out of my normal routine, but in any case, I feel very topsy-turvey and out of sorts today. Here’s to all my fellow moms out there who are trying to keep things together!
Update on the kids’ sleep situations June 24, 2009
A lot of the nap struggles with my younger son, now 8 months old, that I have written about in the past have lessened. There are still days when I feel I need to pray to the nap gods to get things to work out, and the sleep patterns chart (http://www.babycenter.com/0_chart-track-your-babys-sleep_8030.bc) still fills up with Xs some days — an X is my way of noting a “failed nap attempt.” Overall, though, I generally can count on the time around lunchtime and late afternoon as being nap-free zones where I can plan a trip to the store or the park.
Our big struggle with Mark nowadays is his tendency to wake up around 4:30 a.m. (for a feeding, I guess) and then not go back to sleep, even though he’s clearly not rested. This makes for a rough ride until 8-9 a.m, when he will actually take a nap; he is wiped out by 7:30 a.m., typically, but will not nap then. We have tried putting him to bed earlier and later than his 6 p.m.-ish bedtime, with no clear success. If you, dear reader, have any suggestions, please let me know!
We are still working to find a schedule/rhythm that works for my almost-4-year-old, Adam. For a time, I was convinced that his afternoon nap was becoming a thing of the past, but my opinion has changed. Lately he has been ripe for a nap at 3 p.m., and my sense is that I should be putting him down earlier (which I have long wanted and tried to do, with virtually no success). It seems he does need his afternoon nap, but the downside is that when he does nap, he isn’t ready to fall asleep for the night until about 9 p.m. — far too late for my tastes.
Attitude boot-camp for 3yo June 22, 2009
His “disturbing the peace” behaviors have increased lately, in that he repeats things loudly, over and over; goes on and on about various things; and acts squirrely around the house, doing things he knows he’s not really supposed to be doing. I should mention that the underlying motive for disturbing the peace appears to be a desire to get attention, not necessarily excess energy. Being well-versed in Rosemond’s philosophy, I believe that a child (who is not an an abusive or neglectful situation) who is vying for more attention probably needs LESS attention, an attitude adjustment, or both.
Other problems that have increased recently include outright disobedience to clear instructions, and blatantly sassy words or actions.
DH and I decided over the weekend that something had to be done. After DH headed off to work this morning, I decided that any time he did something that I don’t like, he would be immediately sent to rest in bed for five minutes. (Tickets will still be used for blatant things like disobeying an instruction.) Behaviors I have been targeting include any type of sassiness, arguing, or whining, as well as anything that disturbs the peace.
It has been an amazing experience already. I feel empowered to calmly declare any type of annoying behavior to be unacceptable. Sending him to lie down for 5 minutes at the first sign of unacceptable behavior has a completely different effect than “yada yada” discipline (saying things like “please stop that,” “please be nice,” and so on). I also have to say that ignoring certain behaviors has not been an effective strategy, since the behaviors have steadily increased to out-of-control levels.
Less than 2 hours into our day, DS is already much more pleasant to be around (and, I would say, he appears happier and calmer as well). He is simply not allowed to be sassy, to argue, to disobey, and so on. I am so thankful to John Rosemond for teaching DH and me that we have every right to expect pleasant behavior from our son. Just because it’s “normal” for a 3yo to display these behaviors and attitudes doesn’t mean that we should sit back and accept it!