Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Bedtime Hassle

I love Supper Nanny as much as the next mother, but the peace at bedtime lasted as long as timeout did for unacceptable behavior. Every night, although there may be a tweak to the lyrics, for the most part we sing the same song. And I don't know about you, but getting up every time my child gets out of bed and physically putting them back to bed is both physically and emotionlly draining. I am to blame and I have no shame in admitting it. Sometimes you do what works for one night and find out that it does not work for other nights.

After dinner my boys wash their hands and face, then go to their room for some free time. About an hour later it's time for a bath or shower, night clothes, using the restroom, some needed grooming, and brushing their teeth. So now we are in the transitioning phase of bedtime and the hassle begins. I give my boys some love, with hugs and kisses, and sometimes we read a book and sometimes we don't (reading make my boys excited so reading is mostly a daytime routine). Then they repeat after me as we say our non-scripted prayers. No sooner than I leave the room, "Mommy, I have to use the bathroom," "Mommy, can I have some water," or "Mommy, I think I hurt my hand." Alright, you may use the restroom, NO water, and let me kiss the boo boo (sometimes it's just OK, you'll be alright).

Ten minutes later, "Mommy, it's to dark in my room," "Mommy, I need a hug," and my all time favorite "Mommy, your kiss came off, I need another one." How do you say NO to that? Honestly, I can't. So I comfort and I give kiss, which leads to more kisses, which leads to playing, which leads to frustration brewing on the inside, which leads to "boy, if you call my name one more time!" Then I get, "but I didn't call your name, I said Mommy." Ok, so at this point I'm not even responding to them any longer. I am officially in my Woosa (in my Martin Lawrence voice) mode.

How have I dwelt with this behavior? Well, my children's behavior at nighttime revolved around them wanting my affection and my attention before they went to sleep. I can understand that, we have busy days and sometimes my days revolve around getting school work done. So now, after our prayers I spend about fifteen to twenty minutes in their room talking about our day. I lay beside them and rub their nose, one at a time, while we talk about their favorite parts of the day or what would they like to do tomorrow. My oldest son asks me 101 questions, but I answer them all and now that he's getting ready for school, we talk a lot about teachers and new friends. So this new routine is working for all of us. I really believe that they enjoy it, especially having the opportunity to map out the menu for breakfast in the morning.

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