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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My dd is 25 months old. I have been reading a lot of the posts and I have decided this is what dh and I need to do. We also have a 5 month old ds. We let dd cry it out, it nearly killed me to do it, but I thought that's what we were supposed to do. I have lots of questions on what to do in certain situations.<br><br>
DD has recently decided not to go to bed like she used to. SHe gets up a lot before she finally goes to sleep. I spanked her a bit, but I hate it. Any suggestions on what to do?<br><br>
What about when we are at the store and she wants something. If I tell her no, she throws a fit sometimes. What do I do then?<br><br>
What about when she screams and I can't get her to stop?<br><br>
I am tired of being mean to discipline. I love my babies too much!Please help me!!!!<br><br>
Serenity
 

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Welcome to gentle discipline! My dd is 23 mos., so similar in age to your oldest.<br><br>
It's frustrating when children change their sleeping patterns, isn't it? My dd used to sleep through the night, then didn't for more than a year, now is again. LOL! She used to nurse to sleep, then sling, then rock, now we lay down with her, with the idea that it is progressing to her laying down by herself. Something I've noticed a lot about sleep lately is to make sure she really is tired, b/c if it's just me that wants her to go down, it's a struggle, but if she's truly tired it's much easier. So you have a night routine? It might help to lay down with her awhile and cuddle. Can she stay up a little later if she plays quietly or cuddles on the couch? I would really try to avoid spanking for sleeping since I know so many people with sleep problems, I think the more good associations the better, KWIM? Have you heard of Elizabeth Pantley's "The No-Cry Sleep Solution"? It has lots of good ideas about routines and stuff.<br><br>
At the store: I've really done a lot of, "Wouldn't that be fun/nice/yummy if we could have that?" and engaging in fantasy. She usually nods and then her attention is off somewhere else. Also, engaging her in looking for something, looking for other kids, colours etc. keeps her occupied.<br><br>
Non-stop screaming: can you describe a couple of the situations? That might give us a better idea.<br><br>
There's also a positive discipline group on yahoo you might be interested in:<br><br><a href="http://groups.yahoo.com/group/PositiveParenting-Discipline/" target="_blank">http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Positi...ng-Discipline/</a>
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
We tried putting her to bed again this afternoon. It was after church, so a bit later than usual. She was tired, but she kept getting up. After a bit of that we put the baby gate in the doorway. That way, she can't get out, but the door is open, so she's not closed in. That was okay for awhile, then when she got tired of us ignoring her she started yelling that she was scared. She knows this will get a reaction. So I tried laying down with her in my bad, it didn't work. Finally she crashed on the couch watching a movie. Dh is working tonight and I am not looking forward to this again tonight. And chances are I would not be able to lay down with her tonight because ds will probably be awake and not want to lay in bed and he really can't entertain himself. He's 5 months. Any more advice?
 

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"The Discipline Book" by Dr. William and Martha Sears is a good resource for finding gentle ways to discipline and encourage cooperation, even if you didn't start out doing AP.<br><br>
Good luck! and good for you for seeking out a different way!
 

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I would suggest that you read, read, read. When you're starting something like this it's hard to integrate it into the way you do things so getting it clear in your mind will help. I like the Adele Faber/Arlene Mazlish books, any of them, Siblings Without Rivalry, How To Talk So Your Kids Will Listen. Also I like Foster Cline's Love and Logic books. Go to the library and get it all the books on the subject you can and see what fits into your family. It's worth it not only because it's better for your kids, when done right it's more effective AND easier for the parents to do without stressing themselves out.
 

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Congratulations on your decision to embark on a new approach! I agree with the suggestion to do a LOT of reading -- GD is a whole different way of seeing things. Faber and Mazlish books are great. Another good one is Barbara Coloroso's "Kids are Worth It." My spouse's favorite was Sear's "Discipline Book."<br><br>
I realize you'll need to come up with your own approaches to the problems you listed, but I'll tell you really quickly what I've done.<br><br>
-- As far as sleep. I would not expect a 2 yo to put herself to sleep without any company. I think that is a scary difficult position for a toddler to be in. I would either lay down with her, or rock her to sleep when she is tired. I would not push "bedtime" before she is actually tired. I realize this is hard with 2 young children. My spouse and I have realized that bedtime requires both of our full attention each night.<br><br>
- As far as tantrums -- in public or private -- I allow them to happen. Its part of life with a toddler. I do quite a bit of empathizing -- I let my child know that I realize how upsetting/dissapointing/frustrating it is to not get what they want. I do *not* give in and give them what they are tantruming over, though I do recognize and acknowlege how important the loss feels to my child. I know that people in public will roll their eyes and even make nasty comments, but a 2 yo should not be expected to keep quiet about her strong feelings. <i>What people think of us is much less important than the message my child internalizes as a result of how I treat him.</i> Usually a hug and a few minutes of empathy resolves the tantrum in a short amount of time.<br><br>
I am also careful not to take my child out to run hard errands when they are tired or hungry. I try to set them up to be successfull in these situations by being sure they are rested, have a snack, and making sure the outing does not run on for too long. In fact, I try avoid taking my kids on long shopping trips all together.<br><br>
-- Screaming?? I'm not sure how this is different from a tantrum? What sort of situation do you mean?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Savanna has been going to sleep by herself since she was ten months old. As I said before I let her cry it out before i knew any better. SO, going to sleep by herself is nota new thing. Since she is already used to it I am not going to teach her to rely on me to help her get to sleep. The new thing is her not wanting to stay in the bed. She is tired, she just doesn't want to stay in bed. Dh keeps asking if we spank her. I just need a way to keep her in her bed after we put her there. Getting more frusterated as the days go by. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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Why is it so important that she go to bed, if she's obviously not interested in it at that time? Is it really worth all the hassles you are going through, or is life worse when she doesn't go to bed? Don't babies drop their naps around the second birthday (I'm asking b/c I really don't know but my mother said me and my brother did that). Maybe she just doesn't need that nap anymore.<br><br>
I also want to gently point out something you said that speaks to how much of a change in thinking it will require for you to really "get" GD. You said that since your child already knows how to go to sleep herself, you are "not going to teach her to rely on me to help her get to sleep". See, those of us who nurse or cuddle our babies to sleep don't look at it that way. Your baby needs you to feed her and prepare her meals, right? Do you look at it as teaching her to "rely on your for food"? No, you do it b/c she needs it. Obviously your child needs some help right now. She's either not tired, or she is having trouble falling asleep. Hey, maybe she's just jealous of missing out on time you are spending with your baby while she's napping? What I'm trying to say is that this isn't a necessarily "discipline" issue.<br><br>
Unfortunately, doing the CIO and now spanking has resulted in sleeping being a struggle and a discipline issue for you, and your two year old is probably trying to do what they all do: exert some independence and make her own choices (even if she really is tired, too).<br><br>
You need to completely change the way you view this. Reading those books will help. Go over the archives here, too. Maybe you can get some ideas.<br><br>
I do admire you very much for wanting to change things. It's not easy. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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Two things to remember.<br><br>
1. You can/should never control another person's eating, sleeping, and toileting.<br><br>
2. When making a drastic lifetyle change (discipline techniques), start small.<br><br>
--------------------<br><br>
It sounds like sleep is a big issue right now. Some ideas (some repeated, but worth repeating):<br><br>
1. Consider the fact she may be outgrowing her nap.<br><br>
2. You job is to provide an environment conducive to sleep. Her job is to go to sleep when she is tired. If she doesn't get enough sleep, she will have the natural consequence of being tired the next day... Then you can empathize ("Oh, honey, I know how hard it is to be tired when you stayed up too late the night before"), but never shame. (Don;t say, I told you so" or "If you had gone to sleep when you were supposed to, ....) What is your bedtime routine? Naptime routine?<br><br>
3. Read/use The No-Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley.<br><br>
4. Make sure DH is helping at bedtime. You say you can't lay down with her becasue the baby needs to be entertained. Where is DH during this time?<br><br>
5. Consider why it is so important to you that she stay in bed. Give her some choices... Is it really going to hurt anybody if she falls asleep on the floor? Or if she plays quietly with her toys for a few minutes as long as she stays in her room? Bedtime should be a peaceful end to the day... Not a time of angry banishment.<br><br><br><br><br>
Congrats on making a change that will benefit your whole family!
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;"><i>Originally posted by Whit</i><br><b>Make sure DH is helping at bedtime. You say you can't lay down with her becasue the baby needs to be entertained. Where is DH during this time?</b></td>
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I just wanted to point out that seren mentioned her dh worked at night in her second post.<br><br>
Also, seren, check out the Nightwaking forum for specific help on sleep issues. I have found a TON of help there, every time we had a sleep issue. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
I would agree that your dd needs extra help going to sleep right now and that what is usual may need to be changed. However, I don't think you need extra guilt that the CIO contributed to this - it may or may not have, but this is a current issue, one typical for her age and development. I'm not saying to ignore the past, I *am* saying try to look at this as a current issue - what can you do to help her through this stage? I know I have been very irritated when something in dd's routine changes, and some people may say I cater to my child too much to "get through" the stage. I say it works for us.<br><br>
Now this may be heresy, and I firmly believe in GD, but I want to point out that is may not be for every family. Of course, I think it is, and it is definitely right for our family, but I just say that so you do not come here and feel judged by us.<br><br>
Can you post a little more about the non-stop screaming? A "typical" example or a situation that's most frustrating for you?
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;"><i>Originally posted by canadiyank</i><br><b>I just wanted to point out that seren mentioned her dh worked at night in her second post.<br></b></td>
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Ooops. I missed that. Sorry.
 

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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>Originally posted by Whit</i><br><b>Ooops. I missed that. Sorry.</b></td>
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I know you did, sweetie, and that you meant no bad by that - I for one am *very* dependent on dh at bedtime. I just wanted to point it out b/c I know when I post sometimes I feel like yelling, "But I *said* that was why." <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> You know what I mean.
 

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I missed that too, canadiyack. Thanks for pointing it out.<br><br>
Seren -- my oldest is now 7 and has gone through phases of needing more and less help falling asleep at night. I laid down with him often at bedtime between the ages of 2.5 and 3.5. In my admittedly limited experience, children don't "learn something" like falling asleep alone, and then stick to it for the rest of their lives. They go through phases of needing more help, and then relearning what they used to do. KWIM? There are cycles that they go through, and I *promise* that she is not going to be this needy at bedtime forever.<br><br>
If you can't lay down with her, then I think either a later bedtime or phasing out her afternoon nap is probably in order. It sounds like she is just not tired when you expect her to be.<br><br>
The escalating frustration that you feel over the situation, and your inability to think of a non-violent solution, is a clear indicator that your expectations are too high. She is your "big girl," But she is also still a *very* little girl.<br><br>
I want to echo the poster who warned against trying too hard to control sleep, food, and toileting issues. The short term consequence is the intense frustration that you feel. The long term consequence could be anxiety and problems over these issues for your dd when she is older. And I agree with Piglet -- this is not a discipline issue, and should not become one. We can certainly discuss it here, but you are unlikely to find a gentle disciplinary technique that forces a child to go to bed easily!<br>
Discipline is for addressing safety and morality in our children's development.
 

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Just wanted to point out that when I suggested the CIO was a contributing factor, it wasn't my intention to make anyone feel guilty (though I can see how it came out that way, thanks for pointing it out canadiyank). What I was hoping to get across was that there is a pattern of "battling it out" in the child's mind when it comes to sleep, which may be affecting the issue now. I say that b/c I find sometimes if I can figure out where things are coming from it helps me to understand it better, even though the past can't be changed, it can be used to help shape the way we handle the results, kwim?<br><br>
peace,
 

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You totally rock, mama! I can't emphasize enough how amazing you are for making such a change in your parenting. You'll find tons of support here. Way to go! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"><br><br>
Regarding your dd and getting out of bed. Here's a possibility: in the past, you let her CIO and didn't respond to her cries. Now you are responding more warmly to her when she communicates her needs. She is feeling so much closer and safer with you than ever before, incredibly close and warm and safe, and she is working on some of the fears she has buried inside from the past. No guilt here, Seren, you did what you thought was right. You had plenty of support to do things that way and you don't have anything to feel guilty about. Your DD, though, was afraid and alone and now she isn't! So she will have fears to work out with you now that she sees how available and supportive you are.<br><br>
The fact that she's telling you with words that she's afraid, and with crying that she doesn't want to be in bed by herself is a wonderful sign that she is healing those old fears. Your job is a tough one, you need to forget what she "should" be doing, what's rational, and give her an unconditionally loving and supportive setting to get those fearful feelings out. She will cry long and hard and you will wonder why such a fuss is being made over not going to bed. Remember it is layered-on fear from two years. It took a long time to layer on and will take some time to get off.<br><br>
I hope this is making sense. Here's a link to some articles that explain things better than I can.<br><a href="http://parentleaders.org/articles/helping-children-conquer-their-fears.html" target="_blank">Helping Toddlers Conquer their Fears</a><br><a href="http://parentleaders.org/articles/helping-young-children-sleep.html" target="_blank">Helping Young Children Sleep</a><br><a href="http://parentleaders.org/articles/being-with-your-child-in-public-places.html" target="_blank">Being with your Child in Public Places</a><br><br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
Yours,<br>
CurlyTop
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;"><i>Originally posted by Piglet68</i><br><b>Just wanted to point out that when I suggested the CIO was a contributing factor, it wasn't my intention to make anyone feel guilty (though I can see how it came out that way, thanks for pointing it out canadiyank). What I was hoping to get across was that there is a pattern of "battling it out" in the child's mind when it comes to sleep, which may be affecting the issue now. I say that b/c I find sometimes if I can figure out where things are coming from it helps me to understand it better, even though the past can't be changed, it can be used to help shape the way we handle the results, kwim?<br><br>
peace,</b></td>
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Absolutely, I agree. My small rebuttal was not against you but against the way what you said *could* have been interpreted, IYKWIM? I just saw a couple posts in a row that *might* have sounded a little harsh to someone just starting. Not that that was the intent at all - I'm just extra-sensitive to it, I guess. I do entirely agree that the CIO may be contributing to this case. But we need to work in the present, acknowledging the past. I think *my* problem is often beating myself up and I just want this mama to know that you can't live like that. There's mistakes we all have made - sure we can't ignore them and that's not what I mean at all! - but we *do* need to forgive ourselves. I don't like that I've hit my dd a few times out of very, very mean anger, but I need to focus on what to do in the future, what I have control of now. Not that I'm ignoring what I did - I'm using it to learn. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> I knew your intent, I just wanted to make it clear to the OP b/c I sensed some guilt from her there...
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Okay, thank you all for the thoughts! That was a lot of information and I need time to digest it all. Unfortunatly I don't have time to really respond at the moment, but I will soon. I haven't had a chance to get online for a bit and didn't want you all to think I was ignoring you. Thanks!
 

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I'm so afraid to post what has worked with us, but I'm going to. We didn't do cio, but I do expect my kids to sleep on their own. When we shifted Josef from a crib to a bed, he would come find us. So our rule quickly became we brushed teeth, read a story, then I left the room with the door open. I sat in the hallway for about a week so my response would be immediate. If he got out of bed, I would go put him back in bed reminding him to stay in bed at naptime, then I would leave and close the door, but not latch it. If he got up again I would put him back in bed, explain that if he stayed in bed I would open the door again, leave and latch the door closed. He couldn't open the door on his own and never really tried much, but that always did make him cry. I would go in after a minute and either put him back in bed, or commend him for staying in bed and leave the door cracked. Since he was already used to sleeping by himself it only took a couple of days for him to figure out what I expected. When ds2 was born he would ask me to stay for just one minute and if I could I would but when I couldn't due to having a baby to care for I'd explain he could have some special cuddle time after nap. But I had to hang out with baby in the hall outside his room for several days.<br>
Since ds1 is now 3.5 the 'rules' have changed to simply staying in his room, not confined to his bed. He often plays for an hour before bed at night and a little while during nap. Sometimes he doesn't even sleep, but he'll talk to himself, play on the floor, and 'read' books the entire naptime, until I go get him. It works for us.
 
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