Responding to "I'm never going to sleep again" - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 20 Old 03-09-2010, 10:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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my 4 year old D has started a new thing where she threatens me!?

"I am never going to sleep again"

"I am never eating dinner again"

This has stunned me, I don't use threats like this at all so I guess she picked it up at school and is testing the waters?? I don't know how to respond the jokes about her blowing away in the wind don't seem to be working, and when I respond "ok" she thinks I simply misunderstood her and say no I said I'm never going to eat dinner again".

The situation was silly, when I pick her up from school I had veggies and hummus for a snack and she didn't like that idea so I responded with than you can wait until dinner.

Oh well just venting and I'm sure she will get over it (hopefully), but how would you respond??
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#2 of 20 Old 03-09-2010, 10:35 PM
 
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I don't have a 4 year old yet, but I do have a 5 year old niece who says things like that a lot.
I'd say something like, "I understand that you're not hungry/sleepy right now and that's fine, but I'm pretty sure you'll be hungry/sleepy later on. So we'll just see how it goes."

Casey - Mama to Zola (10-20-07) and Felix (4-30-09)
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#3 of 20 Old 03-09-2010, 10:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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yes I forgot to mention she is STARVING or SUPER tired
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#4 of 20 Old 03-09-2010, 11:00 PM
 
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Eek, I don't know then. Sorry! I thought it was just something she said when she didn't like dinner or didn't want to take a nap. Hugs! I hope others will be able to offer some solutions.

Casey - Mama to Zola (10-20-07) and Felix (4-30-09)
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#5 of 20 Old 03-09-2010, 11:03 PM
 
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Oh yup. Sounds like 4 to me.

I think they go through a "power of words" kind of discovery around that age. My friend's ds who is 4.5 was saying things like "I'll make everybody dead" (!) over dinner the other night. He is the sweetest little boy, not prone to violence, doesn't watch violent movies. I think they go through this phase of trying out more shocking statements to see what the effect will be (and probably trying to provoke a strong reaction).

My response, when dd would say things of that nature (which she still sometimes does at the age of 5.5) would be to keep it neutral. Not to give the big reaction that might encourage her to keep on making statements/threats like that. Maybe something like "oh, I hear that you don't plan on ever eating dinner again". Or I might get jokey and playful about it if she and I were both in that kind of mood. "No, of course you're never going to eat dinner again... because I'm going to eat all your food... especially the desserts!" And then chase her around pretending to be a monster that wants to eat her up (cause in the right mood there's nothing quite so fun as a good old monster chase ).

What I wouldn't do is worry too much about it. This is a normal phase and will pass.

Kate, mom to 7 year old Djuna and 4 yr old Alden. Missing our good friend Hal the cat who died June 2, 2010

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#6 of 20 Old 03-09-2010, 11:04 PM
 
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Oh, I hear that a lot. I just say, "Oh, okay. I bet you'll get pretty [hungry, tired, etc.]." Sometimes when it's suppertime or bedtime I'll pretend that I believed her (e.g., won't get her a plate of food) and we'll laugh about how she was just joking when she said it, and silly me for believing her. (I wouldn't make her wait if she was hungry and didn't like the food I'd picked out, though.)
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#7 of 20 Old 03-09-2010, 11:07 PM
 
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I say "never EVER EVER? EVER EVER???? EVER? INFINITELY EVER?"

I guess I have an inner 5 year old.

But if he gets upset at the attempt to lighten it, I just reflect his feelings, "You feel like you don't ever want to X/don't ever want X again." And move on.

I do think it's the age.

~ Mum to Emily, March 12-16 2004, Noah, born Aug 2005, Liam, born January 2011, and wife to Carl since 1994. ~
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#8 of 20 Old 03-09-2010, 11:10 PM
 
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Another thing I might try is to acknowledge what she said but then go about business as usual. Like when she said she would never sleep again I might say (keeping a neutral tone of voice) "Ok, well why don't we lie here and read a couple of stories". And then go about bedtime as usual. Or if she said she would never eat dinner again I might say "Ok, well I'll put a plate of food here in case you change your mind". I would avoid engaging in any kind of argument... just keep your reaction mild.

Kate, mom to 7 year old Djuna and 4 yr old Alden. Missing our good friend Hal the cat who died June 2, 2010

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#9 of 20 Old 03-09-2010, 11:59 PM
 
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Sometimes my two year old will say that and I laugh and say "Me too--I want to stay up all night--Let's never go to sleep!" He is quite shocked by this and then tries to convince me why it is in my best interests to go to sleep. Might not work with your little one (and might create more problems if they go for it!), but it is worth a try?!
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#10 of 20 Old 03-10-2010, 12:24 AM
 
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I love when ds makes those sort of silly threats. It's so goofy! I usually say something like..."well, okay. I guess if you don't want to I can't make you sleep. Okay! But I'm gonna go to bed, 'cause I'm tired, so you can read a book or color in your room, okay? I'm gonna set the alarm clock to get up for school just in case you ACCIDENTALLY fall asleep. G'night."

or "Well, that's an interesting choice, okay. I'm gonna have dinner, though because I'm hungry, and I happen to know that there is apple cranberry crumble for everyone that eats their dinner...Lucky thing you aren't having dinner...more for me and daddy...yummy!"

There's no real point in getting upset, because they can't follow through with the threat.

Rebekah - mom to Ben 03/05 and Emily 01/10, a peace educator, and a veg*n and wife to Jamie.
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#11 of 20 Old 03-10-2010, 01:11 AM
 
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Honestly, I'd just shrug it off and say "Well if you change your mind, let me know! There's still plenty of Hummus!" And go on. Or I'd make up a playful response or something like that.

WIth the bedtime thing, if the child really pushed I would say, "You know what, I know you don't want to sleep and I won't make you. But it's not safe for you to be up alone while we're all asleep (or something like that) so you'll need to stay here in bed." Or something along those lines.
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#12 of 20 Old 03-10-2010, 01:35 AM
 
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You could sing the stay awake song!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPw6QBSggls
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#13 of 20 Old 03-10-2010, 01:47 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom View Post
You could sing the stay awake song!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPw6QBSggls
This is in our regular lullaby rotation!

Rebekah - mom to Ben 03/05 and Emily 01/10, a peace educator, and a veg*n and wife to Jamie.
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#14 of 20 Old 03-10-2010, 01:50 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom View Post
You could sing the stay awake song!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPw6QBSggls
I love that song!

joy.giflurk.gif

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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#15 of 20 Old 03-10-2010, 07:01 AM
 
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yah.. been there..

and amazingly enough it had short life..
I just asked my LO what does NEVER means.. and she said..
I don't know :-)

althouhg she is very smart and she know how to use the NEVER word correctly she does not have concept of NEVER as they are really
not that long on this Earth to really understand concept of NEVER.
the same is with FOREVER...

how a little 4 year old really can have this concept?...

NEVER Is really a long time when you think of it :-)..

and that is I think why we have those problems with them..

we ask them to "NEVER do That!" and they promise promptly
and then five minutes later never is over :-)..

so gently ask her what does NEVer word mean and you might
be surpised with the answer you get..

I got it a lot here.. my smarty pants will pick up some smarty pants
sentences and phrases beyond her age and she can amazingly
use it in the right context without actually understanding
the particular meaning of the words.. and this is as much cracking up
as impressive but then again.. don't fall into the trap
that they actually mean what they say at this age anyways :-)

on the same note.. when my LO made statements that she
will never do something..

I usually say kindly Okay...

and it is funny how short lived those statements are if you don't fight them

but if you want to have a more serious parenting experience you can take her for a trip...

when my daugher once said she will never sleep again..

I simply smiled and said .. okay.. and then I added..
so.. you can play all night and we all will go to sleep okay
and then wake us up in the morning when you will be going to
sleep and we all will be waking up to have fun, but then you
will have to sleep okay? .. and of course when you will be up
alone all night in the whole house so quiet you can do some
house work for us okay?
make sure you won't wake us up ..


but seriously.. if you want you can really take it on serious level
and go like:

okay so let's see how it would work.. so you are saying you will never
sleep again.. so .. you know that we humans sleep because we
need to rest and be strong next day right?..
so just think about this.. all kids will go to sleep but you and tomorrow
they will all wake up strong and full of energy to play but you will
have to play tomorrow without any sleep and you will fall asleep
in the middle of play and you will loose all the fun.. etc..
you got the drift ...

I figured out that this is one of those moments when you don't have
to struggle with them and it is something that levels out quickly if taken with
humor. of course no sarcasm.. just friendly loving cring humor,
we usually have this kind of conversation when my LO sits on my lap and slgihtly is cuddling and she is not facing me as this gives them more
comfort and is less confrontational by nature.. and lots of warmth, love
and hugs to follow and of course big kiss.. and release :-)
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#16 of 20 Old 03-10-2010, 11:42 AM
 
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I totally think it's the age, and learning about the power of words. It feels like that to me, anyway. My 4 yo ds does that a lot these days ("I'm NEVER going to talk to my sister again!" I'm NEVER going to be happy with you again!" and so on).

I try to reflect the feeling back to him: Wow, you're really angry with your sister, aren't you. You are pretty upset that we can't go outside right now.

He generally accepts that I see how he's feeling, and affirms it.

I think it's more about about feelings than intent.

Mama to A 8/05 and S 11/06
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#17 of 20 Old 03-10-2010, 11:58 AM
 
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I hear stuff like that from DD1 (5 1/2) sometimes. I try to stay very calm, so I don't feed into her drama, and I say, "wow, you're really mad. Well, if that's what you feel like you need to do, that's fine with me. But maybe when you calm down you'll think of something else that might help."

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#18 of 20 Old 03-10-2010, 02:54 PM
 
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I usually empathize with the feelings behind the statement and ask dd if she has other solutions or I offer other solutions.
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#19 of 20 Old 03-11-2010, 12:36 AM
 
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My oldest isn't four yet, but when he says similar things I usually respond with something along the lines of, "You aren't ever going to eat again, huh? Hmmmm. *shrug* Well, if you decide that later you're hungry after all, I have some hummus and carrots for you here." Or possibly, "No sleeping AT ALL? Wow, that would be wild! Our bodies need some rest though, so let's just lay here for a bit. You don't have to sleep, don't worry, but I could sure use some down time. Will you lay here and keep me company?" Usually within minutes he asks for the snack or starts to settle in for sleep. I guess I'm getting at the point that I don't react too strongly to his threats and then leave it open for him to change his mind about the whole thing.

Sarah , wife to Tyson :, SAHM to Landon (5), Coleson (3), and new baby boy due any day!

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#20 of 20 Old 03-11-2010, 12:50 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pianojazzgirl View Post
Another thing I might try is to acknowledge what she said but then go about business as usual. Like when she said she would never sleep again I might say (keeping a neutral tone of voice) "Ok, well why don't we lie here and read a couple of stories". And then go about bedtime as usual. Or if she said she would never eat dinner again I might say "Ok, well I'll put a plate of food here in case you change your mind". I would avoid engaging in any kind of argument... just keep your reaction mild.
Ditto. I don't engage in that at all. DS has said "I'm going to stay up all night!". My response is "okay, but since it's nighttime then you need to stay in your room. I'm going to sleep. See you in the morning!". Obviously he's not stayed up all night yet

Food issues are a little different because he has a lot of feeding issues. He HAS gone on feeding/drinking strikes long enough to need IV fluids (he has autism, which explains this). But, still, if he refuses to eat then I give the standard "okay. If you change your mind you know where the kitchen is". 99% of the time he will go to the kitchen to eat/drink within a couple hours.

If I were to make it into a battle then he would push harder. If I make it seem like it's fine with me then he usually chooses to change his mind

I see some people saying they make silly statements and the like.... I can see this working with some kids but with my ds it would infuriate him!

Steph, DH Jason (1-1-11), DS Owen (10-3-03) and DS Kai (10-13-11)

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