The first part of this post was written: Oct 1, 2008
My wife and I have been struggling with our three year old at bedtime.ï¿½ She is a very willful child which is not always bad but at bedtime, it has been.ï¿½ï¿½ We tried several things and found that this worked best for us (in case anyone out there is having simlar issues):
- Routine: Establish a routine in which the child follows the same steps every night.
- Read her a story.
- Tuck her in and tell her she cannot get up anymore.ï¿½ Tell her you will check on her in 15 minutes.
- Turn out the lights (night light on is ok).
- MAKE SURE you follow through by checking in 15 minutes.
We have found our child is going right to sleep after we read the story.ï¿½ Best of luck.
UPDATE: April 13, 2009 Now a while later, we have a 2 year old going through a far worse time with it. Our girl referenced above is now pretty good with bedtime and needs only minor discipline here and there. Well … minor that is in comparison to our terrible two-year-old! Last weekend I spent close to 3 hours each night trying to calm her to sleep without her bottle. She is very attached to it. We want to wean her off it for socialization as well as tooth issues but she will not have that! I don’t think I’ve ever gone through something so frustrating as a parent as this. We gave in after three nights of literal torture for her and us. Her screaming, us staying up holding her, her never going to sleep.
We’ve decided that it isn’t the time to take it away yet. Still that is our goal and we are working toward it.ï¿½ My list above is a good guideline but I have learned and now believe that kids aren’t a ten step list on “eHow.com” Sometimes they color outside the lines and in our house, that’s okay.
This parenting stuff ‘aint for kids folks but it’s gonna be good if we just hang in there.