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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So my son has just turned two and has, literally overnight, come into a fierce independance stage...if I touch the fridge door while he's tryin to shut it, trouble! If i start to peel his banana...trouble.

Coinciding with this is the beginning of tantrumming, which we have, up until this point, not had to deal with...pretty laid back, although generally high needs kid (dare I say laid back wehn all his needs are being met?)

Anyway...so here is an example. I have been tryin to allow him/encourage him to assert his independence wherever he can...but sometimes we run into problems. This afternnon, at four oclock, it was very obvious to me that ds needs to nap (he is also having night terrors so our nights are often inturrupted and we are all tired.) I have given him the choice numerous times throughout the day to nap, but he has said no, being fully engaged in other play. So i let him have his preference, and usually he will come nap fairly willingly when actually tired. (We have tried very hard not to force sleep in any way, trying to keep it a non-issue.) But today, at 4, he NEEDED to nap. I gave him the choice to walk/crawl or be carried to his room...he will usually choose to crawl. He chose crawl, and then wouldn't come at all...tried picking him up and carrying him after several chances to coem on his own, and he got really upset..wanted to do it "self"". So, giving him the benefit of the doubt, I tried to redirect. We got up, had some food (he was also very hungry and I wanted to avoid a low blood sugar meltdown) and then I decided to try again with the nap.

Gave him the choice to walk/crawl/be carried. He wanted to play outside. Gave him the choice again. He wanted to play in the sink. Finally, as I'm feeling ready to implode, he chooses to crawl to the bedroom....but I need to stand right behind him and encourage him to focus on getting there...he wants to play with the balls, he wants to.....you get the idea. Finally, after probably 7-8 chances, me tryin very hard to keep my cool ,be patient, and understand that he is toddler, distractable, impulse motivated and the rest of it, I tell him if he doens't go to the bedroom mommy will carry him. His choice...trying all the time to allow him some element of choice, even if the eventual goal is the nap.

Anyway...eventually I pick him up and carry him into the bedroom,l which of course starts a monolith tantrum of brokenness, tears, screaming, kicking and saying "self"1500 times. I sit with him through the tantrum, offering to hold him (just pisses him off), telling him I know he's mad, sad, etc, telling him I'm here when he needs me, and that he's safe....

Finally, I get off the bed and leave him alone, he gets off the bed and I distract him with a playsilk to make a tunnel, he comes in, agrees to nurse, and drifts off to sleep. HE feels crappy, I feel crappy...we're botrh upset.

What are my options here? I know that if he doesn't nap at all he'll be abeast for the rest of the day and we'll both pay for it, and I feel like I can see the signs of his needing to nap fairly clearly. How to go about it to avoid the freak out though? I don'
t want to make my little one so sad...it makes me cry just to think about how scary it must feel for him to be so out of control. I try to give him lots of choice, encourage the independence, etc...but I feel like eventually, I need to be the caregiver and force the issue a bit or we'll all go nuts.

PLease mamas....what am I missing here?

Be gentle. I feel bad enough already.

TIA
 

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I think you are doing great overall. I think in the case of the bedtime you offered too many choices. I think choices should be limited to simple things at that age, and if he wasn't able to pick, no more choices. I say this b/c IME when the child is tired, stressed out, etc they simply can't handle choices.

I think after the snack I would have not bothered with choices, since he was still obviously tired. I would have just said "let's go take a nap" and carried him to the room, comforted any tantrum that would result, and see where it led us. Perhaps after ''getting it out" he would be ready to nap. But if not I might try to drop the issue because I'd rather have a tired cranky kid than a major power struggle blowout.

But hey, hindsight is so much easier! I think overall you did great, just cut with the choices when they are too unglued to deal with them. Sometimes taking charge gently is what they need. You guage their reactions to determine whether an issue is worth pushing or not.
 

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I had a crap of a day myself because of no nap (for a 15 month old!), also in Canada.


Is your son likely to understand a timer? I've seen a really neat one that has a yellow, green, and red lights. Have you tried giving notice? Maybe he would find it fun to abide by the light and the warning would help him accept the idea. I plan to get one of these timers when my son is a bit older.

Good luck! It's so hard when naps are postponed or skipped!
 

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What if you strike the word "nap" from your vocabulary? What if, when you see he's tired and in need of a nap, you suggest some cuddle time, or story time, or listening to some quiet music or some other very quiet activity? He may just drift off to sleep during the activity. Or maybe it will make him groggy enough that he'll want to go to sleep. Sometimes the idea of a nap is not very appealing because the child doesn't want to "miss" anything.
 

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: I make up errands to run around nap time. The car is the only thing that has worked consistently with DS (3) since he weaned almost a year ago. We tried no naps for a while, but by the time daddy got home, everyone was miserable. He needs to nap, and sometimes I have to create errands to run just to get him in the car. Fortunately, once he falls asleep, he transfers easily to his bed.
 

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He may be overtired and not able to settle for a nap. Have you tried setting up a certain time of day to just lay down and nap. We have our nap right after lunch and I lay with her and rub her back or nurse her until she sleeps. She needs a schedule to be happy so we eat, nap, shower, and go to bed on a schedule. I also don't offer her choices when we are going to do something that she doesn't want to do but that she needs to do because she will choose to go play, I give her a 5 minute warning and then when it is time to go shower, nap, etc... I tell her it is time and I pick her up and bring her. I try to only offer choices when I am willing to let her make a choice that is contrary to what I want her to do.
 

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I second Joan's suggestion. I usually tell him it's story time with the "baby" (his teddy bear) when he needs his nap, and he usually complies. I also do not give him the choice to nap or not, and I try to have a routine, which allows him to anticipate the nap, which reduces fussing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks to all for your thoughtful suggestions.

I think a big part of the prob yesterday was he was overtired and hungry. Today, for both nap and bedtime, I tried transitioning him to sleep when he was already on the bed for a diaper change...eliminating any mention of sleep really helped avoid the issue of breakdown.

Anyway, thanks again.
 
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