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Messages By: vinswife

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July 25, 2005, 12:11 pm CDT

bedtime trouble

Quote From: jettav

My children have always slept in their own beds with an occasional sleeping with mommy and daddy for whatever reasons, we do love to snuggle and have those times together but I definetly enjoy my bed along side of hubby, just the two of us. Now, recently both my girls, 4 1/2 and 2 1/2 have been getting up in the night and either getting in bed with us or on the couch, they like sleeping together, so we are in the process of putting them in the same room togehter and if they want they can sleep together, We have turned the smaller room into a play room and they absolutely love it and now when they wake up, they go in there. we do not do naps here and they are ususally ready for bed at 9 and they say, "night night" and off to bed they go. Of course we do the bed time routine, snack, bathes, 30 minute movie, Bible story, prayers, and then bed time. and if they don't head towards bed, I let them play for about 10 minutes then I start counting and by the time I get to five they are giggling and in bed and asleep in no time. This schedule works perfect for them. I think one thing that is helping is the fact that they feel in control, they choose the snack, the movie and the story and they are easy to lay down. consistency is the key I think, kids reaslly do adapt to the life style that they are brought up in.

My son is 5 and he has been having such trouble with going to sleep. He will only go to sleep if I sit there on his bed and wait until he has fully fallen asleep. I read a story to him or just talk with him and then kiss him good night and go to leave and he just starts crying... I dont know what to do. We put his younger brother in his room, which he asked for and he has 2 night lights on too. He wants to sleep in our bed every night. I dont do it because I am afraid to start a really bad habit. I just dont know what to do to get him to fall asleep without such trouble.  He will not tell me why he gets so upset. I ask him and he says that he does not know.. I feel terrible about it but maybe I am being too harsh and should just wait there until he does fall asleep. I just dont know what to do.. He is starting kindergarten this September and I want him to have a healthy sleep and be ready for school when the time comes.. Anyone have any suggestions?

thank you Barbara

 
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July 30, 2005, 5:24 am CDT

child sleeping

Quote From: spin462002

Dear Barbara, I can relate to your dilemma. I have had the same one but my child is 11! (her name is Naomi) It has been a steep learning curve for me! We went through months of tears at bedtime, night lights, knocks on my bedroom door in the night, general insecurity and irrational fears for no apparent reason. Five years old is very young, and many children much older than that feel insecure or fearful at night for no apparent reason. I have come to see that MY attitude influences my daughter and her behaviour. I would feel guilty and confused when she cried, and see myself as being "too harsh" if I insisted she stayed in her bed and went to sleep without any fuss. Eventually a good friend suggested I might be contributing to the problem rather than enabling my daughter to overcome her fears and insecurities. Only a good friend can be that honest! I am blessed! I bought some good quality children's audio tapes and a player for them. I gave them to my daughter as a gift and she was delighted. She started to listen to them after I tucked her in and would easily fall asleep listening to them (very quietly). Sometimes she would still express fear about nothing in particular. I talked to her (she is 11 remember, I don't recommend this for a five year old) about her fears, reassured her and gave her ideas for dealing with her feelings herself. Rather than crying and feeling sorry for herself or being scared, she is allowed to get up and make herself a glass of milk and a cookie or listen to her tapes. This has worked as I have seen and understood that it is the only loving thing to do. We must extend our children emotionally, and we must do it lovingly without guilt. Now I can see that what I saw as "too harsh" was in fact loving kindness, helping her to manage her feelings and overcome her fears. My own confusion and guilt had only increased her own fear and confusion, and I had to be the one to change first! I hope this makes sense Barbara? Once I convinced myself I was a loving mommy who wanted what was best for my child, I was able to be firm and unwavering about the behaviour and my response to it. Children need firm loving guidance more than sympathy and fussing. Try the tape/cd player idea if it appeals to you. Even music might do the trick. Whatever is peaceful and sleep inducing! Once he can read to himself a whole new world will open up to him. Go through the bedtime routine and firmly say good night and switch the tape/music on very quietly. I can almost guarantee he will be asleep in no time and then it's only a matter of time before he forgets about the tape/cd and goes to sleep easier or later reads himself to sleep. Break the cycle and be firm but loving. No sympathy, no guilt. Just do what's best for him. Naomi now puts herself to bed and reads for a while before going to sleep. Before she could change, I had to. Know you are a kind loving mommy and be firm. Your son can only benefit long term. with love Lynn

Thank you for the advice.. It is so hard trying to figure out whether or not you are doing the right thing or the wrong thing. I second guess myself all the time.. I appreciate what you said and agree with it. I have just found that if I leave his little lantern on so he can fall asleep to it works. I saw him light up when I told him that maybe we can do that. I think that he may be having alot of emotions about going to kindergarten this September and having to be in big boy school and all the new experiences he will have and maybe this is his way of dealing with stress.. I love the idea of the tapes as well, he has books on tape that he loves so maybe I will try that as well... I talk with him quite a bit about his feelings and why he does things or how he feels about certain things, he is a beautiful little boy with a wonderful imagination and he is a very sensitive boy and I try to remember that and I dont want to have him shut down his feelings. I would talk with him at bed time and ask him why he is so upset but maybe that stirs up feelings at the wrong time ya know. I maybe should discuss it in the morning or in the middle of the day.. I thank you for taking the time out to share your thoughts with me. I will try the tapes too, he loves his books on tape...  Thank you again and I know that you are raising a beautiful child as well.

love Barbara

 

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