“When the cold comes to New England it arrives in sheets of sleet and ice. In December, the wind wraps itself around bare trees and twists in between husbands and wives asleep in their beds. It shakes the shingles from the roofs and sifts through cracks in the plaster. The only green things left are the holly bushes and the old boxwood hedges in the village, and these are often painted white with snow. Chipmunks and weasels come to nest in basements and barns; owls find their way into attics. At night,the dark is blue and bluer still, as sapphire of night.”
Alice Hoffman, Here on Earth

Thursday, September 9, 2010

You Can Lead A Kid To His Carpet Square.....

So, basically, what I wanna post about tonight is...how do you make kids sleep? And yeah, yeah, I know that whole thing about leading a horse to water but really. When we're talking about kids, who never seem to want to do the things they need, and when we're sure they still need it...how do make it happen?

Specifics. Dee doesn't like to sleep. Honestly, neither of the two older boys do. Ru tries to stay awake as much possible, but he's slightly more responsive to verbal reprimand. Basically, they both try to squirrel around instead of sleep (at naptime and night), but Ru will listen when I finally break down and give them a good stern scolding. My little Dee on the other hand will not sleep. Until he wears himself out.

At naptime, he will talk and play and sing and shout and walk his feet up the wall and toss his pillow around and anything else he can think of without actually getting out of his bed and only fall asleep after an hour or more of messing around. The other way to get him to go to sleep is for me to sit there in his bedroom and say over and over "No talking. Go to sleep." *wiggle wiggle wiggle* "No playing, lie down and go to sleep." *wiggle wiggle wiggle* "Close your eyes and stop singing, its time to sleep." etc.etc.etc. ad nauseum

I had been doing that, but I'm wearing out. This takes a lot of patience and also a lot of time out of my day since it takes about a half an hour of reminders till he finally goes to sleep.

At bedtime, forget it. The boys both fuss and cry and ask for one more drink of water FOREVER...we just go to bed and ignore them at this point. I hate it but, we have no idea how to teach them to go to sleep.

I thought that if I sat with them at naptime and used those verbal instructions: "Close your eyes. Lie down. Go to sleep. This is a time for rest...etc." They would start to do it without being told and I could give fewer and fewer reminders and basically pull out and see them go down easily after a fashion. No dice. Part of what is wearing me out is that there seems to be virtually no improvement.

You might say, "Maybe he doesn't need to nap anymore?"

I can't imagine that being true. By dinner time with no nap he is a freaking basketcase....out of his mind with bad behavior and over-emotionality, and he's also only two.

So, yeah...whaddya got? How do you all make kids sleep?

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