Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sleep Woes

What to do with this three year old???

Jillian has been fighting naps for some time now, but I've often been able to get her to settle down for some afternoon sleep eventually. Over the past week or so, however, she just fights me and fights me. Most days she does fine with just some quiet time, to the tune of playing quietly in her room for about an hour. But after a couple days without naps, the cumulative lack of rest catches up with her and bedtime becomes the BIGGEST.FIGHT.EVER. I'd let her just cry it out in her room, except that her room is right next to Jessica's and is not soundproof.

It's classic stalling technique: wanting one more toy from downstairs, one more hug and kiss from daddy, blah, blah, blah. And we're SO over it. As I type this, she's been punished to the basement and is crying and crying. She isn't allowed to come back upstairs until she settles down.

Jillian being three, we have several disciplinary issues right now to deal with, and I've been wanting to put together a reward system. Something visual. Much like the poster we did for potty training, though simpler. That visual seemed really make a difference in that process for her. So I've been trying to figure out what to reward...and now I'm thinking it will be bedtime. Maybe a star chart for going to bed nicely and staying in bed? Each night she goes to bed well she earns a star and after "x" stars (maybe 14 for two weeks?) she gets a special reward. She has been wanting a pink bedroom...maybe the reward could be painting her room pink? She's also been asking for a new bed and we have a full size bed in storage...we could reward her with that bed, but not until she learns how to go to bed nicely? (Of course, that would mean we have to buy a mattress...)

Anyone else out there having bedtime fights? Help help help!!!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mel,
You really don't need anyone's advice. You have done a good job with her and each kid is different. I like the idea of a visual reward system for some things and you can try it. You are in a battle and for a three year old 14 days is a long time to wait or cognitively be able to "plan" for success. Try rocking her before bed...just like Jess. Just a thought. Ask her what she wants...tell her you are sad when it is bedtime and everyone is tired and she cries. Could be she doesn't want to be a big girl at bedtime. You will make the right decisions...I know your track record! Love, Aunt B

Emily said...

HUGS!! I don't have any experience in this area, the last time we had bedtime fights was a while back so my techniques are not 3 year old friendly. I'd go with what worked for potty, even just try it for a few days and if it's not working scrap it and try something else.

Denise said...

Once upon a time I read somewhere to try a card / ticket system, where the kids have maybe 2 "tickets" to trade in for a Mommy or Daddy visit at bedtime, for any reason. When the "tickets" are used up, then there will be no more visits. With Jocelyn I often list off what we've done "I gave you a drink, we sang a song, read a book, snuggled, etc., etc." I am not coming back up". This sometimes works, but I have considered the "ticket" system myself.