It’s only 7:30 a.m. in my neck of the woods, but already I feel like I’ve put in a full shift. Mark, age 18 months, woke up at 4 a.m. crying. He settled down when I directed him to his favorite blanket, but he did not go back to sleep. And, it follows, neither did I. So I got dressed at 4:45 a.m. and Hubby helped keep Mark quiet so as not to wake up big brother, Adam, age 4 1/2.
At 5:15 I loaded Mark into the van and we drove around for an hour. I got a coffee and a newspaper (so I could plan garage saling without poking around online so much). By being out of the house, I wanted to ensure that Adam could sleep as late as possible. It is so, so difficult to keep Mark quiet, and our house is fairly small so it’s not really possible to close ourselves off somewhere and wait it out, and Adam seems intent on waking up at at the slightest sound.
So anyway, imagine my surprise when we pulled into the driveway at 6:15 a.m. and I found Adam in the backyard in his pajamas, jacket, and Crocs. I knew right away that Hubby was still in bed and that Adam had gone outside without permission. This is something we have come across before and so I believe that Adam is fully aware of the rules.
Soon afterwards I discovered that Adam had changed out of very wet underwear and pajama bottoms, AND that his bedwetting alarm was switched to OFF. The only logical explanation (and I need to come up with my own explanations because for whatever reason it is essentially impossible to get a coherent explanation out of Adam) is that his alarm woke him up and he then turned it off, went back to sleep, and in the process completely evacuated his bladder into his clothes and bedding.
This all made for a very crabby mommy. We have been using the bedwetting alarm for 2+ months now, and I understand that at times the alarm might not wake him up. BUT, if it wakes him up enough for him to switch it off, then I expect him to get up out of bed and take care of business.
Hubby and I decided that as a consequence for Adam’s actions, he will spend the entire day in his room with no toys and no books. I credit John Rosemond for this concept and, while it’s certainly not easy to implement and stick with, it does serve as a compelling consequence.
It strikes me that Adam is nearly five years old, and more and more we need to hold him accountable for his decisions. In doing so, we need to use consequences that will fully get his attention. It strikes me how ineffective it is to engage in what Rosemond calls “yada-yada discipline” in which the parent uses explanations, talking, etc., as the primary means of trying to get a child to change his/her behavior.