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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am going through a REALLY tough time right now, in general and with DS at night. His teeth are ALL in (yes, even all of his molars) and have been for a few months, but he has nights lately where he wants to nurse for HOURS and just can't seem to sleep for more than 1/2 hour without waking up and crying.<br><br>
ANYway, so I'm going through a really tough time. Last night I got sick of laying there in bed nursing him, looking at the wall and almost crying because I couldn't stand it anymore. So, I got up and took him to the computer to nurse (at least I could surf 'n nurse, KWIM?). So he nurses for a while of course, but doesn't go back to sleep... he wakes up completely and looks around.<br><br>
We go into the living room so I can maybe watch TV and nurse... at this point I wanted to nurse him in the rocker and then I figured we would just sleep there the rest of the night. <sigh> Thought my sleeping-in-the-rocker nights were over.<br><br>
ANYway, DS decides he wants to be read to. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">: It's 1:30 a.m. and I haven't even been to sleep yet at all!!!!!!<br><br>
I tell him no, it's too late to read the book he wants, I'll read it to him first thing in the morning, right now we really need to go to bed.<br><br>
DS then throws a huge, screaming, horrible, terrible fit, crying and thrashing and constant fit... for at least the next 45 minutes!<br><br>
I should have just read to the guy. My judgement gets a LITTLE cloudy in the middle of the night, especially with these nighttime issues we're having!<br><br>
Finally he calms down and we get him some water and some blueberries, and I end up reading to him anyway when he starts asking again. Sigh.<br><br>
I never imagined someone could get SO upset over just being told we couldn't do something right then. Tonight he wanted to nurse in a certain chair, and when I initially said no, he started up again! I told him I was sorry, I didn't realize how important it was to him, yes we can nurse in that chair. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="innocent"><br><br>
I can't believe I let him throw a fit that long without just reading to him... I am a horrible mother. I cried through much of this, and cried afterwards when he was calm, and I think I hollered at him a few times too. I just want to get some sleep! Just a little sleep.<br><br>
I'm posting this in the GD forum because I really just want to know - will he always freak out like this if he doesn't get what he wants? Normally it's only important stuff he acts like he might get bent out of shape over (like asking to nurse, wanting to eat, not being picked up RIGHT AWAY when he wakes up at night, etc.).<br><br>
I just don't understand. I thought it would be OK to just tell him no sometimes... but I don't feel it's OK for him to get that upset when all I have to do is read to him.<br><br>
I guess a just need a little advice, and some shoulders to cry on. I'm dreading tonight, but I guess I'll head to bed in the hope that I might get some sleep, ha ha.
 

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You don't say how old your son is.<br><br>
I do think it is OK to say No. Indeed, I think that in a situation like yours it is valuable.<br><br>
Look, its one in the freaking morning. You don't want to be reading to him. There is nothing wrong with saying no.<br><br>
But not getting what we want is a problem for all of us. Sometimes its hard to know that you WILL survive it. Especially if you are never said "No" to.<br><br>
I think that when parents go out of their way to give in to <b>unreasonable</b> requests, they are cheating their child of the chance to know that they can survive not getting something they want. The child starts to genuninely fear the "no". They don't know that they have the power within themselves to feel better again. And thus the hysterical fits. The coming back to the request even when having calmed down.<br><br>
I don't think we should say no just to say "no". I think though that we should not say "yes", when it really is not good for us or our child, just to avoid the upset. We all will have things that upset us. We need to know that we can live through it.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>maya44</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I don't think we should say no just to say "no". I think though that we should not say "yes", when it really is not good for us or our child, just to avoid the upset. We all will have things that upset us. We need to know that we can live through it.</div>
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Maya44, what a great post. I especially liked this last part, and I wanted to add that I think you are doing a disservice to your relationship if you are telling your son yes when yes is making you so distressed that you cry. I think there are times when our children need things from us that make us exhausted, discouraged, frustrated, and tearful, but it doesn't sound like this has to be one of those times. If he's old enough to reason and talk, I would empower him to work out a compromise with you. Does that make sense? I don't feel like I'm expressing it very well, and I hope I'm not coming across as judgmental. And, I could be wrong about his age and ability, I'm just basing it on the number of teeth <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">
 

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I think it is okay to say no also...especially when you are exhausted! I agree with the other mom..I think it is a valuable lesson for children to learn they canlive thru being told no and disappointment. He likely got so upset becaus ehe was shocked. He likely isn't used to you saying no and this was his way of letting you know he didn't like it. Of course it does depend on his age to a degree. Is he old enough to understand mom is tired and needs to rest? I will tell you one thing someone once told me about my daughter regarding no. The person said if you say no about something and then give in it really makes it worse because then the child thinks every time they hear no from you if they throw a big enough fit you will give in. Of course it does break our hearts a bit to see them upset but they will be okay.
 

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I like your idea of reading to him if it's so important to him that he gets upset for a long period of time over it; especially if he will be happy to read only one book.<br><br>
I'm not a fan of "teaching lessons." He'll have a bazillion chances to learn how to deal with frustrating situations and not getting what he wants. However well you plan your lives (unless you are a million times better at this than me) things will come up that he must be told "no" to for safety or other reasons. I take this as nature's way of teaching us that we don't get whatever we want. Of course, it extends beyond safety reasons too. Sometimes we just can't continue to happily spot them while they leap off the couch, after we've already done this for 20 minutes or whatever. Also, with snacks and crap. If they are all over the house and readily accessible, that seems to be an open invitation to indulge in them, or deliberate torture of the child (using words loosely here). Even if they are away in the cupboard and they are extremely enticing to the child, it does no one any good to let him routinely indulge in them at the expense of eating healthy food. Ditto with t.v. and doing more productive things. But if the t.v. is there and the snacks are there, and both are things that you generally don't have a problem with, and the child feels like enjoying a minor indulgence at a time that isn't particularly good for you and feels intensely passionate about it, then I would let the child watch a short show or have one little snack. This seems entirely reasonable to me. It's a balance of interests. Children are people too and their dependence means that sometimes helping them to do what is important to them will interfere with doing what we want to do. Sometimes they want to read a story, have an extra snack, or whatever. Arbitrarily saying no, or saying "no" to teach a lesson doesn't strike a chord with me. I decline Simon's requests not to teach him a lesson, but when they conflict with mine or someone else's in such a way and to such an extent that it is an unreasonable demand.<br><br>
If reading, even at a crazy time, is what Simon desperately wants to do, so much so that he'd be upset for 45 minutes if we didn't do this, I'd read him the story (or 2 or 3 or 10). His upset, both that which is blatantly obvious to me in the form of crying or that which is more subtle, counts against my interest in getting more sleep. It upsets me too. I don't see children as manipulative and could accept this as something out of the ordinary. I would have no reason to suspect that he might start routinely getting up in the middle of the night to read stories. If that became a problem, we'd think about mutually acceptable ways to solve it.
 

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I don't think saying no to reading at one in the morning is "arbitrary" like saying "no" to sitting in a certain chair.<br><br>
I think saying no at one in the morning IS one of the "bazzilion" chances a child has to learn to deal with disapointment. It is more than reasonable for a parent to decide that such a request is unreasonable. It is not unreasonable to decide to say yes <b>once in a while</b> either but the OP asked if it is "ever" ok to say "no".<br><br>
It is NOT a matter of saying "no" here to "teach a lesson" its NOT saying "yes" to avoid the normal disapoinment that follows a request that is declined appropriately. I think that saying "yes" in such a sitation too much teaches a child to fear the "no"
 

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I would not read to my child at 1 in the morning either! Geesh! How old is he?? I think reading a book at that hour in the morning would set a really bad precident.<br><br>
There is a difference between using the word "no" to throw your weight around, and using the word to set your own personal boundries. Its okay to have boundries with our children. We would loose our minds if we didn't. Its perfectly okay to say, <i>"No, I don't read books to people at 1AM. But I would be happy to read books to you in the daytime tomorrow."</i>
 

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Your needs count too, mama, and right then you needed sleep. he did too, judging by his reaction! No guilt, I think what you did is perfectly fine. There is a time and place for everything, and 1am wasn't the right time to read books. I would have said no, too.<br><br>
Hope you both feel better this morning!
 

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My take -- I absolutely agree that it's okay to deny unreasonable requests (and even to deny reasonable ones if you're not up to it at the moment), but I would have read to him in that situation. My DS is a really reasonable little kid most of the time, but when he wakes up in the night he is pretty irrational and miserable -- he doesn't want to be awake and he doesn't handle frustrations nearly as well as he does during the day. I would guess that's pretty common. In addition, your DS was in pain from teething and you were already doing "entertainment" stuff (computer and TV) so his request doesn't sound too unreasonable to me. FTR, we always play with DS or read to him when he wakes in the night and can't fall back to sleep -- it happens very rarely and has not set up the pattern of waking to play that I hear people worry about.<br><br>
ETA: Oops I misread your original post regarding teething so disregard that part of my comment.
 

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I don't know how old your ds is, but when my dd was about 18 months, nighttime weaning literally saved my sanity. and our breastfeedig relationship, not incidentally. i went on to breastfeed her til just shy of 5. nighttime is for sleeping, daytime is for eating and reading and playing, and that is not arbitrary. your child will be more cheerful with a good night's rest, and so will you-which will have untold benefits to your whole family.<br><br>
and there are ways to night wean that are gentle and loving. Breastfeeding is a relationship, it needs to be working for both parties for it to be a healthy one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks so much, everyone, for your input and support. I poured my little heart out in that post and I was just feeling so down.<br><br>
I forgot to mention DS' age... he is 22 months. He understands that sometimes he has to wait for things, but he doesn't understand, I don't think, that mama is tired and needs her rest. So I think he's younger than everyone probably assumed he is.<br><br>
I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts again knowing his age.<br><br>
I am still really conflicted about this one. You know, he is still too young to communicate why he needs things. We read a lot in the evenings when he's getting tired, so maybe he wanted to be read to so that he could calm down and get back to sleep. Or, so that I could distract him from whatever was waking him up in the first place (still not sure what the issue was).<br><br>
But on the other hand, I was really just at the end of my rope... and just starting to totally resent him and everything he needed from me. My perspective is usually that I shouldn't do things for my family is doing them is going to make me resent them and stew in bad feelings. But, you know, I am the adult here and he doesn't understand that either.<br><br>
The other night was, without a doubt, my darkest moment as a parent. I'm sure there will be more but I hope the night time situation improves in our house. I'm considering moving him to his own bed for part of the night.<br><br>
I know not everyone in this thread agrees with each other, but everyone who is replying are the people I had hoped to hear from <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> and are people whose opinions I really respect. So please continue to share your thoughts or advice if you have any.
 

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at 22 months, i definitely say night wean. it won't stop your breastfeeding, but it will restore peace and sanity to your nighttime. if you are interested, pm me, and i can give you deatils on how i did it. and actually, it was really painless for both of us-so much easier than i expected. and the payoffs were huge, and immediate-for both of us. it turns out she needed the sleep as much as i did, and was just waking up to nurse out of habit.
 

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To me the issue isn't so much, "should I read to my ds at 1am", but that you were tired, burned out, at the end of your rope and needed a break. Some may choose to read to their dcs at 1am, some might not but no one should feel guilty about not doing something when they desperately need a break. This really is just reiteration, but your needs matter too.<br><br>
I agree that, if you are comfortable with it, nightweaning might do a world of good. GOOD LUCK! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

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18-24 months was really tough at night with dd1. I thought I was going to completely lose my mind. Hang in there. It really does get better. It was weird, kinda like a newborn-y thing again.<br><br>
He really won't do this forever...and he won't always freak. Has he started having nightmares yet? In retrospect, I think that might have been what happened to dd1...really messed her up for a while...I think it made her scared to sleep.<br><br>
Somedays I just felt <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/nut.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="nut">
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Attila the Honey, I just wanted to thank you for both of your posts, that helped validate my feelings. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="innocent"> So my needs DO matter sometimes? Hmmm. :LOL<br><br>
mama ganoush, I am pm'ing you.<br><br>
chfriend :<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>chfriend</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">18-24 months was really tough at night with dd1. I thought I was going to completely lose my mind. Hang in there. It really does get better. It was weird, kinda like a newborn-y thing again.<br><br>
He really won't do this forever...and he won't always freak. Has he started having nightmares yet? In retrospect, I think that might have been what happened to dd1...really messed her up for a while...I think it made her scared to sleep.<br><br>
Somedays I just felt <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/nut.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="nut"></div>
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I wonder if that is my DS' issue! Take last night... I went to bed without waking him up (unusual) and while I was laying there (unable to sleep of course... LOL) he started kicking in his sleep, like he was riding a bicycle. He started crying without even waking up.<br><br>
So maybe that is part of his problem. Or maybe it's his whole problem. He is definitely having very vivid dreams, he talks in his sleep fairly often and will wave his arms around and stuff. When he wakes up crying he seems so sad I sometimes wonder if I accidentally scratched him without realizing it, or something... maybe it is bad dreams.
 

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I just wanted to say that this post has brought me alot of relief!!! I too was questioning my parenting skills. My dd is 11 months so she is still really really young, but I do tell her no no very quietly when she bites. She is a solider at night and hates to co sleep. she can't/won't but she sleeps from 8pm to 8 am so I am spoiled by her <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> I just need to hear that no is ok at somethings. thanks so much!!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mama ganoush</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">at 22 months, i definitely say night wean. it won't stop your breastfeeding, but it will restore peace and sanity to your nighttime. if you are interested, pm me, and i can give you deatils on how i did it. and actually, it was really painless for both of us-so much easier than i expected. and the payoffs were huge, and immediate-for both of us. it turns out she needed the sleep as much as i did, and was just waking up to nurse out of habit.</div>
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We nightweaned at 18 months and I have never regretted it-- it was easy here, too. Prior to nightweaning, DD would <b>constantly</b> wake up crying, in a panic, when she awoke to find she wasn't nursing. Once she was nightweaned, she still woke up sometimes, but always peaceful and easy to put back to sleep. Nightweaning actually helped HER feel better about nighttime!
 

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I haven't read all the replies but I think the trick to saying No is to be matter-of-fact and up front about it. Don't make the kid feel bad or wrong for asking.<br><br>
If I ask my boss for a raise, I want him to say no open and honestly (if he must). I don't want to feel like crap for even daring to ASK for a raise.<br><br>
So we need to say No, I think sometimes we (in the US) have a tendency to want to talk them out of asking. You don't want that - you don't want to go to work with Daddy, you'd just be bored. And this is a disservice to the kid. A better approach, one I am working on, is to say no, but acknowledge the feeling behind it. You really wanted to read, but it's night time now and it's time for bed. I'll hold you and rock you. I know it's hard to sleep, especially when Mommy is all wound up like this.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Ellien C</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">So we need to say No, I think sometimes we (in the US) have a tendency to want to talk them out of asking. You don't want that - you don't want to go to work with Daddy, you'd just be bored. And this is a disservice to the kid.</div>
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I agree I never get upset with my kids for asking for something and when I say "no" I am not trying to convince them to "go along." I acknowledge that they might not like it.
 

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I agree sometimes you have to say no, and dealing with a little disappointment is not a bad thing. Sometimes they need you to be the parent and<br><br>
Dang I don't think my DD (21 mo on the 19th) is going to nightwean before she goes to college!
 
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