Mothering Forum banner
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,167 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ds1 often has days when it seems like he could really use a nap, but won't take one. So by the evening he is obviously tired, but there isn't much we can do about it. I have laid down with him, read books and closed our eyes, but regardless of how tired he is, he will ask to get up in a few minutes, saying he can't sleep, and rally on until his normal bedtime.

But then sometimes his behavior is just atrocious, and it is impossible to communicate in a rational way because he is just so tired. Like tonight, he kept banging his fork against his bowl even after dh asked him not to several times (it was very loud and irritating). He finally stopped, but then a few minutes later did it again while looking at us. In one of my less creative moments, I put out my hand and said "Fine, then give me the fork." He handed it over, but then walked over and tried to grab it out of my hand. It was a ridiculous scenario that would not have happened had he not been tired. (And in fact is continued to escalate, and all three of us - ds, dh and I - acted horribly.)

So I get that the "why" is that he was tired. But that doesn't mean that he has carte blanche with bad behavior. So how do you handle really defiant behavior when the child is tired?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,205 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by oceanbaby
So I get that the "why" is that he was tired. But that doesn't mean that he has carte blanche with bad behavior. So how do you handle really defiant behavior when the child is tired?
I think that a very tired child is also a very regressed child - so the normal interventions you use for his age don't work anymore. It might be useful to think of him as temporarily being 18 mths again, and use the techniques you used back then to get through the tired period (redirection, child-proofing, playful parenting).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,825 Posts
When my kids are sleep deprived, sometimes I'll encourage them to have quiet time rather than a nap. Everyone lays on their bed. Older kids read books or play with legos, younger kids look at picture books and play with babies. I'll ask them to stay there for an hour. I don't ask them to sleep, but it's down time to rest and recharge. We don't do this everyday, but it does seem to help on days when I know that my kids are over-tired and could use some rest.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,270 Posts
Quote:
I think that a very tired child is also a very regressed child - so the normal interventions you use for his age don't work anymore. It might be useful to think of him as temporarily being 18 mths again, and use the techniques you used back then to get through the tired period (redirection, child-proofing, playful parenting).
very interesting.

dd just fought her nap for over three hours (my fault for doing one too many errands this morning...she fell asleep in tha car for 20 min but woke up when i tried to transfer her). it's been a challenging afternoon to say the least.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,167 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by BellinghamCrunchie
I think that a very tired child is also a very regressed child - so the normal interventions you use for his age don't work anymore. It might be useful to think of him as temporarily being 18 mths again, and use the techniques you used back then to get through the tired period (redirection, child-proofing, playful parenting).
That's almost too obvious, yet brilliant! I don't know why I couldn't think of it in those terms. I think it will particularly help my dh to think of it that way, as he seems to have the hardest time with it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,753 Posts
If it helps, my ds is the same exact way. I'm just waiting for him to get older and need less sleep. Tonight, he is doing all right without a nap merely because he is watching a new video (Pokemon, his latest interest).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,628 Posts
My oldest (4.5) is the exact same way. Lots of behavioral issues come out when he's tired--which is often b/c he refuses to rest or nap and will only do so if we happen to be out in the car while he's tired. Thanks for the suggestions and reminders about redirection and stuff. This is helpful to me tonight.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,938 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by BellinghamCrunchie
I think that a very tired child is also a very regressed child - so the normal interventions you use for his age don't work anymore. It might be useful to think of him as temporarily being 18 mths again, and use the techniques you used back then to get through the tired period (redirection, child-proofing, playful parenting).
This is very true! I have tried using the old techniques and it hasn't worked for me BUT I think changing my expectations is at least 1/2 the battle.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,717 Posts
I'd suggest putting him in his room with some soothing music and some quiet toys and saying "Mommy needs a bit of a quiet time ok? Can you stay in here for a bit and play quietly?? That would be great! Thanks!"

And 9x out of 10 he'll conk out. My DD does. She's very understanding. Even if she DOESNT go to sleep, she will play quietly and let *ME* nap. Being the tired preggo that I am.... I be sure to thank her for being quiet too.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top