This is my first time starting a thread here. My son is almost 3 and so far in his short little life he has responded very well to distraction, redirection, short/easy to follow instructions and consequences to his actions. He also responds to "1,2,3" but we rarely have to get that far. My husband and I try very hard to patient, no yelling/screaming etc. We are 100% against corporal punishment and have never/will never spank.
However for the last week our son has really been procrastinating at bedtime. We have a set routine (video, jammies, teeth, 2 books) and bedtime is consistent-between 8 and 8:30. His new thing is to really dilly-dally, fight jammies, he gets very distracted when brushing his teeth (playing with the water, needing to wash his hands again and again), wanting to watch a little more, now I need water, etc etc. We have tried to be more flexible- Ok you don't want jammies? Here's a t-shirt. All along reminding him that bed time is the same no matter what and if he wants to wash his hands again that means less time for a video, he wants to watch more video? Ok less time for books. Most times when I say Ok time for bed he gets up, turns off the TV and off to jammies, books and bed we go.
For the most part we have not had to limit anything and still been able to get him to bed on time. Reading books are his (and mine!) favorite part of his nighttime routine. So last night he really dilly-dallied. At 7:45 we had just put on his video. So at 8:00 I told him time for bed and he kept asking to watch just a little more, I want to hear this song mommy please!?! So I said OK but that means no time for books tonight OK? Yes mommy! So 8:15 video over and we get our t-shirt on (No jammies mama!!) work our way upstairs, where he has to put his trains’ always. We get into his bedroom and I start to tuck him in and he asks for his 2 stories. I said no stories tonight, its bedtime. He starts screaming, a real throw doww tantrum. I try to get him calmed down whjile all along explaining that because we watched more video there was no time for books.
Well the poor guy was so upset. I ended up being in there with him much longer (almost an hour) than it would have taken to just give in and have read him the books but I didn’t want to leave him in his room crying. I feel strongly about consistency and consequences to his actions but am I just being stubborn? I almost felt like it was a power struggle. Would it have been better to “give in”? Would it have better to deal with the tantrum at video time instead at book time and not have let him watch more?
As an aside: He is exhausted by 8:0O so it’s not that he isn’t ready for bed. He usually falls asleep during the last book or is asleep before I even get downstairs. Also I can’t really start the bedtime routine an earlier other wise it would be in the middle of dinner LOL.
So wise GD mamas: Any advice? Should I be giving in, changing our routine? How do I change so that he still understands the consequences of his actions but I don’t have him crying hysterically bedtime? Thanks!
Pardon me while I