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Discussion Starter #1
This is just a minor situation that came up this evening. But I was at a loss as to what consequences I could offer if he kept up this behavior.<br><br>
Here's the situation:<br><br>
My two boys share a room. The one year old is in a crib, the three year old is in a toddler bed. Normally they both go to bed without a fuss. In the mornings, DS1 often drags something over to the crib and climbs in with his baby brother (once they are both awake). I dont mind it. They play, I get a little more sleep and they let me know when they have had enough of it (or each other!).<br><br>
This evening it was bed time. I put DS1 in bed, then went to nurse DS2 for a while. After I put DS2 to bed, I left as I usually do. I went downstairs and heard suspicious noises. DS1 had gotten into the crib.<br><br>
He told me he didn't want to sleep, but it was bed time and I know he needs his sleep, especially since little brother will wake him up sometime between 6:30 and 7:00. SO... what should the logical consequences be if he had done that again (he didn't but he fussed and called me in there about 5 more times before he finally settled down over and hour later)? I could only get out a lame "you'll be in trouble." In one of my later trips in there, he told me he wanted to be in trouble! I also tried telling him that we have a fun event tomorrow morning and he needed to go to sleep or he would be too tired to go. He told me he didn't want to go to a fun event.<br><br>
WWYD?
 

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We have a similar arrangement b/c my 4yo was afraid of being in her room by herself. She kept running into our room crying and would then join us in bed and kick all night. I asked if she wanted to sleep in Nitara's room and she said yes. I put a mattress on the floor in there. I told her what the rules were-- that she had to be very quiet, not wake up her sister at all. If she did she would have to sleep in her own room by herself. So far she has not broken the rule and is sleeping a lot better b/c she's not scared anymore.<br><br>
But anyway, I would say that if he can't stay out of the 1yo's crib at night then he should sleep in another room. I'll bet if you tell him that he'll stop doing it. You may have to even put him in another room for awhile by himself, like 10-15 mins and ask if he wants to try again.<br><br>
We are big on sleep around here because we've had a rough year with sleep deprivation.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the idea, but unfortunately, the only other rooms he could sleep in are the TV room, or our room -- both MORE appealing options to him than his own! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> If I told him that he would jump at the chance to go to the other room.<br><br>
But he isn't sleeping with his brother because he was scared, that has just always been the arrangement.<br><br>
This isn't a recurring thing or anything. I was just wondering what I could have said. I'm not so good at the GD thing and can't always think of alternatives on the spot. This was a concrete example I thought I'd ask for advice on, since it just happened. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Not sure why there needs to be consequences...??? I probably wouldn't impose any consequences if this was a one-time occurance.<br><br>
It sounds to me like your DS was having a hard time settling down for the night and needed some companionship. I feel that way some nights too...<br><br>
I can understand your situation, my 3 & 1 year old DDs share a room. Both are on twin mattresses on the floor. Sometimes they sleep together, sometimes apart. I generally stay in the room until they fall asleep. Some nights they really seem to need the companionship of the other... I can't blame them for that. And on nights when they're having a hard time going to sleep, I stay with them until they're asleep- it's easier and less frustrating for me than to go into their room 10 times and tell them to sleep.<br><br>
Honestly, if they are going to continue to share a room, I think this is one of those issues that they may need to figure out for themselves. I shared a room with my sister until I was 12. There were many nights when we kept each other up, but we eventually worked out our differences.<br><br>
If your boys keep each other up at night, there will be *natural* consequences, such as not getting enough sleep, feeling tired in the morning, missing an event in the morning because of sleeping in... do you think that your 3yo DS is old enough to understand these consequences? (Depending on the child, I think a young 3yo might not see the correlation, but an older 3yo would)
 

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I
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">t sounds to me like your DS was having a hard time settling down for the night and needed some companionship.</td>
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ITA. I have not had the experience of putting a small child to bed and then being able to expect they will stay there. At 3 yo. -- we still sat with them, patted them, and sang to them until they drifted off.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
No this is not a recurring event and yes he was having trouble settling down.<br><br>
However, he is the type of kid that will NOT settle down if I stay with him -- I'd end up in there for hours.<br><br>
The only reason it was an issue at all is that his brother is only one, and will settle down -- but not with his brother bouncing around in his crib trying to undress him! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> He was keeping him up.<br><br>
As for the "natural" consequence of being tired and sleeping in, that won't happen. He will be woken by little brother between 6 and 7 a.m. and all that will happen is he will be difficult all day because he's tired (more of a natural consequance for me than him!).<br><br>
I just wanted to know what I might have said to him when he told me "But I WANT to be in Liam's crib" and informed me he was going to get back in when I left. If you do it again, then... what?
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I just wanted to know what I might have said to him when he told me "But I WANT to be in Liam's crib" and informed me he was going to get back in when I left. If you do it again, then... what?</td>
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To me, and "if...then" statement in this situation is an invitation to lock horns in a power struggle. I would evade the issue, and refuse to engage in the struggle regarding the crib. I would probably change the subject abruptly and say, <i>"You are having a hard time settling down tonight, aren't you? What would help you? How about a warm bath? Or a story? Or some snuggling?"</i><br><br>
Just wondering something -- do you have a pack&play or a playpen around somewhere??? If so, you could offer to set it up so that he can sleep in a crib too. If thats what he really wants! And I doubt he will after the novelty wears off.<br><br><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Thanks for the idea, but unfortunately, the only other rooms he could sleep in are the TV room, or our room -- both MORE appealing options to him than his own! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> If I told him that he would jump at the chance to go to the other room.</td>
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Going back to this for a minute. Its okay (IMO) if the consequence is appealing. Then it stops being a consequence and instead becomes a solution to his problem. Which is better yet. He doesn't need to suffer in order to learn from an experience. Would it be possible for him to lay down alone in your bed until he falls asleep? Then you could move him later.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">He doesn't need to suffer in order to learn from an experience.</td>
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This really hits home for me. My neighbor and I were just talking about how we had to admit to ourselves that it was frustrating when the kids weren't upset by the consequence of their 'bad' actions. (Her ds hits, so they have to leave the playdate, and he doesn't seem to care, for example.) And how we both felt wrong about 'wanting' them to be upset so that we could feel like they really learned something from their actions. So this idea is not such an obvious one, and one that I need to consciously remind myself of.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Mamaduck,<br><br>
I like your first suggestion. I'll try that. As far as the consequence not having to be bad, I agree. But there is a difference between not being "bad" and being "fun." What I meant is offering to move him to either of those rooms is the equivalent of telling him "you're misbehaving and if you keep it up you can go play!"<br><br>
He would not fall asleep in either of those rooms. He would bounce on my bad, get down and pet the cats, etc. It would not work.<br><br>
That said, I don't think he wanted to sleep in the crib. He wanted to play with Liam who was IN the crib. One thing I did think of was to set up the pack and play and move LIAM into it, taking away the temptation for Evan.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">My neighbor and I were just talking about how we had to admit to ourselves that it was frustrating when the kids weren't upset by the consequence of their 'bad' actions. (Her ds hits, so they have to leave the playdate, and he doesn't seem to care, for example.) And how we both felt wrong about 'wanting' them to be upset so that we could feel like they really learned something from their actions.</td>
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Oceanbaby, I think its very cool that you have a neighbor mama who can relate to on this level.<br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">As far as the consequence not having to be bad, I agree. But there is a difference between not being "bad" and being "fun." What I meant is offering to move him to either of those rooms is the equivalent of telling him "you're misbehaving and if you keep it up you can go play!"</td>
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Hm. I can totally accept that you don't think the idea would work. Thats fine. I think where I disagree is at the point where you say that he is "misbehaving." I guess I just don't see it that way. No doubt about it -- I would feel frustrated in your shoes. But from what you described -- it sounds to me like he was just having a really hard time settling down for the night and didn't quite know what to do with himself. I don't think it is necessary to focus on "misbehavior" in order to address the problem. In my book, "misbehavior" falls into the realm of morality and harming others. What your child was doing was just being punchy and restless because he needed to sleep and couldn't settle.<br><br>
With my older child -- the handful of nights each year that he has trouble falling asleep and starts to get punchy and silly -- I usually suggest he turn his light on and read in bed until he feels more ready to sleep. Reading in bed at night is definately fun! But it also works for him. I don't feel I'm rewarding bad behavior. I feel like I am teaching him a constructive and satisfying way to cope with the same feelings that lead to the punchy silliness. KWIM?
 

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This is how I handled it when I had a hard time getting my two to stay in bed at night. I told them they don't have to go to sleep if they aren't tired but they do have to stay in bed. I let them pick out a toy or some books to take to bed with them. It worked great. They would stay in their bed and usually fall asleep in a few minutes. Sometimes they would be up for an hour or more but as long as they stayed in the bed I didn't care. For me the bedtime wasn't becasue they were tired and needed the rest it was because I was tired and need the rest, so it worked for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
AngieB,<br><br>
Exactly! For me bedtime is important for both of us! I have tried your tactic before and it does usually work. Last night it didn't because he was, as MamaDuck said "punchy."<br><br>
MamaDuck, just to clarify my use of the term, his misbehavior wasn't necessarily the act of getting in the crib in the first place, but in refusing to get back in bed and telling me he was going to do it again when I told him no.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>musikat</strong></div>
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MamaDuck, just to clarify my use of the term, his misbehavior wasn't necessarily the act of getting in the crib in the first place, but in refusing to get back in bed and telling me he was going to do it again when I told him no.</div>
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I feel like maybe I'm pushing my luck on this thread, so this will be my last post and I sincerely hope I'm not ticking you off too much!<br><br>
But this is *exactly* the sort of scenerio where I think its best *not* to engage. He is trying to engage you in a struggle over power. He's trying to make it a contest. I would NOT let that happen. It will turn into a game where you dare each other to up the ante. First it will be "If you do this, then I will do that...." And soon he will be asking, "What will you do if I do this?" Or "Then I will do such and such back to you..." You will both being issuing threats, and you are going to run out of "consequences."<br><br>
Change the focus. Make it about something else -- Do *not* let it be about who is in charge. Don't respond to his defiance (if that is what it is.) Instead -- focus on the problem. Ask how you can help. Or spend 10 minutes doing something entirely different in an effort to calm him down. But when he throws down the gauntlet -- do not pick it up.
 

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I have occasionally, when my children would not settle (four children were using the same room for sleep for a while) told the rowdy ones that they had to get up instead and find a spot to sit in the living room.<br><br>
I didn't need to control the sleeping/ rowdiness, but did need to protect the calm sleepy/asleep ones from the romping. It was purely practical--I just put them elsewhere when they wouldn't control their own behavior for where they were. Ironically, they were quite disatisfied to be expected to sit up in the living room with me. Soon they were pleading that they were ready to go to bed. Within minutes. And they were much calmer, too, when they went to bed.<br><br>
I don't know why this worked--I did the opposite of what makes sense. I humored their awakeness and they discovered that they were sleepy? It was boring that there was nothing left to push against?<br><br>
I would risk tomorrow's crankiness.<br><br>
This was with my two 5yos, BTW.
 
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