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how do you transition to bed when your kid is tired and behaving badly? all my posts are about this sooo sorry! i don't want the bed to be like a punishment. he wont take a nap so i'm settling for quiet time but he never falls asleep. we were getting ready to go out to eat and his behavior sucked because he got up early. so i had him get in his bed and read some books but it was right after he threw a toy. i know he sees going to bed as a result of throwing the toy. i guess always stick the to the bedtime routine?
 

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With my kids, I think a bedtime routine is really important, but can be fudged time-wise by half-an-hour or so in either direction.<br><br>
Choosing NOT to go out to eat when your child is crabby and tired was a very smart move on your part.<br><br>
I think the best way to prevent bedtime from feeling like a punishment is to incorporate happy "connecting" activities into your routine/ritual. In <i>Sleepless in America</i>, Mary Sheedy Kurcinka says that kids go to sleep more easily when they have about 7 "connecting" activities incorporated into their routine. Read a book. Snuggle with mom. Listen to soft music. Kiss all the teddies goodnight, etc... I also think that staying with a 3 yo. until he falls asleep (if he'll let you) is a good way to make bedtime a happy and relaxing experience.
 

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We just dealt with this issue tonight, as a matter of fact. DS1 was tired and crabby, he didn't have a good nap and was expected to play soccer right before dinner. He was whining at soccer and I gave the option of leaving or playing soccer. He wanted to leave - he was too tired to play. Of course, that meant that he would be tired and cranky for the rest of the evening. Once home, he was a little rude and over-physical with his playing, but when his dad asked him why he was rude, he replied: I'm tired and I'm cranky. So we brought him up to do bath/stories/bed about 45 minutes early and he was dozing off during the first of 3 books! When I know that he's tired, I give him a break from his manners, somewhat. Heck, when I'm cranky and tired, I tell him how I feel and he acts much nicer towards me - it's like he's gaining more empathy by seeing me moody from this pregnancy <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment">
 

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We found that even when DD is *so* tired and cranky and clearly needs sleep we can't rush it to come, even though it's greatly needed.<br><br>
She's had trouble calming down to sleep ever since she was born.<br><br>
Routines help us and lots and lots of mama time in the hours before sleep. I used to try and get "me" time in the evenings after DH was home, but since that's when DD is tired, it's really not a good time at all.<br><br>
Our current routine is bath at around 8:30ish and then we play with some dolls/stuffed toys in the big bed (the parents' bed). Then we read books and finally around 10ish she's ready to nurse her dolls and lay down with mama for her own milkies. She and I co-sleep (Daddy's a horrible snorer, so he got booted out of the family bed months ago).<br><br>
After she finally falls asleep I can crawl out of bed for some alone time with DH and some "me" time.<br><br>
There are plenty of days now where she skips a nap and we just know that she'll need more contact with mama and we have to stay close to home.
 

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We deal with this a lot with ds1. He has always been very sensitive about the amount of sleep he requires. Even at almost 6yo, he could use a nap, but rarely ever takes one. By 6pm on most nights he is a little tired, and sometimes starts to act kind of bratty. Our routine with him is to get ready for bed starting at 7:30, so that we're done reading and he's asleep by 8:30. If it wasn't light out we would do it even earlier.<br><br>
One of the best pieces of advice I got about this was here on MDC awhile back. Someone said that they treat a tired child like they would a toddler. So if your 2yo was throwing toys when you're trying to get ready for bed, you would redirect, distract, soothe, etc, so try the same with your tired child. The idea was that a tired child is compromised and is probably operating at the level of a toddler. Heck, I know when I'm super tired I probably operate at the level of a toddler.<br><br>
I too don't do bedtime as a punishment. And if I try to talk to ds about him being tired, he will insist that he's not tired. So we try to just move through the routine as matter of fact as possible, while remembering that he is in a compromised state.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
wow i hope one day he learns to admit when hes tired and cranky. he ALWAYS says i'm not tired!<br><br>
well i have a confession. dh read him some books and he didn't fall asleep so we did go out to dinner. we went somewhere close and loud and he did fine. i got him a new music cd while we were out to listen to while going to bed. when we got home it was about 7pm and he wanted to listen to it. he insisted that i leave the room. finally after getting out of bed over and over, he let me lay down with him at 8pm and fell asleep instantly. he slept his usual 11 hours so i guess it went ok.<br><br>
i just read the book sleepless in amer. i'll have to reread the part about the 7 things hmm.
 
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