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Old 09-18-2009, 07:01 AM   #1
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Please help, don't know what to do!!!

I made another post before about having trouble getting my 2 yr old son to sleep. Things have gotten worse and it comes down to some basic things, and I really could use some advice or realatable stories.
I can't tell if my son is afraid or if he's just working me so I will stay with him at bedtime. People tell me you can tell by the cry if they are truely afriad but I honestly can't tell!!! I need help last night was just horrible. He wouldn't go to sleep and after 3 hours I finally just let him sleep with me. I know I made it worse but I was so exhausted I was afriad I was going to lose my cool, not hurt him but I was starting to yell at him and I hate that. My husband has been gone all week and will finally be home tonight. We did CIO when he was 7 months old because as 1st time parents we endulged him in always being there until he was fast asleep and we had to teach him to put himself to sleep. It worked great! But I don't know if that's the case again and we need to do another round of CIO because he was sick last week and when he is I let him come into bed with us. Or is at his age now he is starting do devlop fears. I am totally desperate now. If I knew he wasn't afriad I would be confidant to leave him to self soothe like before but in the back of my head I worry that he's really scared and I am abandoning him while he's afriad. I leave 2 night lights on and now he also has his bedside lamp on. We leave his door open and he has all his dolls with him. I don't know what more to do if he is afraid. I can't go to bed when he does @ 7:30-8:00 because he's afraid, or is that my responsibility to do that? OMG please someone give me some advice or words of widsom or even just if you've been through this before. I just need some guidance, please.

 
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Old 09-18-2009, 07:02 PM   #2
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Re: Please help, don't know what to do!!!

I don't think that your two year old is so afraid. is he telling you that he's afraid? I think you just don't have a good bed time routine. If you give in sometimes then he will try to play you. if you want him to sleep in his bed then start tonight, establish a routine that works for both of you. try reading him a book or singing a lullaby then tuck him in and walk away, he will probably cry and cry and cry but he will eventually fall asleep. For the first few nights he will most likely cry until he gets into the routine as long as you don't give in. Everytime you give in remember you'll have to start all over. If you don't mind that your child sleeps in your bed and that's what you want to do then that's also fine.
You are the parent, you know what works for your child and your family. Stop feeling bad, no you are not supposed to have the same bedtime as your toddler. You sound like you're feeling guilty all the time, stop thinking he's scared, if he is he will tell you.
Remember to choose a routine that works for you and your child, just stick to it, and like any new routine the beginning will be a little more challenging but it'll work.
Hang in there!

 
Old 09-22-2009, 11:55 AM   #3
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Re: Please help, don't know what to do!!!

Actually we have a very good bedtime routine that is very consistant. Every other night he has a bath that's the only different thing. But aside from a bath we go in his room at 7:30 and put on pj's after I put on his lotion. Then he picks out 2 books he wants me to read and 1 he looks at while I read the other 2. Then once the books are done I turn off the light, we arrange his animals the way he likes them and I tuck him in. I give him a bunch of kisses and tell him goodnight and I love you ect... You were right however in the guilt part. I did feel incredibly guilty. I couldn't tell if he was afriad or not. He's late to start talking and just turned 2 a couple of months ago. He can't communicate emotions to me very well yet, that is if he even understands them, which I don't think he can at his young age.
But since I made this post we've had a break through. I came home early on friday and went down to say hello to Tanner and my mom who was watching him. I then went to bed b/c I was home early due to having no sleep the night before. After about 20 mins he started screaming for me and I could hear my mom telling him he couldn't see me right now because I was sleeping. I heard him run to the stairs and my mom follow and pick him up and bring him back to the other room. This went on a few time until she brought him outside. So the breakthrough was that he sounded EXACTLY the same as he had sounded at night, which gave me the confidence that he is not afraid he was having a tantrum just like he was friday afternoon because he wanted me and couldn't get his way. So that night I was comfortable in a sense to leave him to work it out himself. I don't give into tantrums and now that I know that's what it was I feel much better...to a point I still hate to hear him cry no matter what the cause!
So these last few night have been MUCH better, the only thing he's still doing is moving all his animlas and pillows onto the floor and making a little bed on the floor to sleep but if that's what he wants to do to sleep then so be it! I move him back into bed when I come up later on. It's weired though, why does he want to sleep on the floor?

 
Old 09-23-2009, 07:18 AM   #4
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Re: Please help, don't know what to do!!!

I'm glad to hear you figured things out. Hearing your child cry for whatever reason is always painful. As for why he likes sleeping on the floor, who knows? it can be his way of rebelling, it can be a number of things, if we can only get into a toddlers head and see what they're thinking. I think it's adorable that he's setiing up himself and his stuffies on the floor, though it probably won't last long, i'm sure that once he realizes that even that isn't working he will end up staying in his bed again. That's cute, if he's getting sleep and finally! so are you, whatever works.

 
Old 09-23-2009, 10:33 AM   #5
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Re: Please help, don't know what to do!!!

It is quite adorable because I can hear him through the monitor, as he puts each one in line he says their name so I can tell exactly who is being moved! He actually didn't do it last night, he went right to sleep just like the good old days. When I go to leave the room he starts asking me all sorts of things, you can totally tell he's trying to keep me in there as long as he can and since the tantrum didn't work he might now be trying just a conversation. So I indulge him with a few questions but then I have to cut it off. But I can handle that and actually enjoy the little talk!

 
Old 09-24-2009, 06:35 AM   #6
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Re: Please help, don't know what to do!!!

Ok so we had a couple of days of back to normal and then last night he started doing it again. The actual tears have for the most part stop, he's just vocally crying out for me and whining. So last night I went up after a bit and got him settled back in bed and told him not meanly but definately firmly that this was enough and I was not going to bed yet and I would be downstairs for a little while longer but would be up soon and he has to go to sleep now. It seemed to do the trick, we went to sleep after that but now were back to the extream guilt! I feel like I am being terrible to him getting upset and again not yelling at him but I was being very firm and my voice was raised just a little. I wish he could communicate better and tell me if he really is scared or not because I am just so worried that he is even though I am pretty sure it's just a battle of wills. He just sounds so sad up there calling for me. God I wish this would end. Am I doing the right thing?

 
Old 09-24-2009, 07:55 PM   #7
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Re: Please help, don't know what to do!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by E1979 View Post
Ok so we had a couple of days of back to normal and then last night he started doing it again. The actual tears have for the most part stop, he's just vocally crying out for me and whining. So last night I went up after a bit and got him settled back in bed and told him not meanly but definately firmly that this was enough and I was not going to bed yet and I would be downstairs for a little while longer but would be up soon and he has to go to sleep now. It seemed to do the trick, we went to sleep after that but now were back to the extream guilt! I feel like I am being terrible to him getting upset and again not yelling at him but I was being very firm and my voice was raised just a little. I wish he could communicate better and tell me if he really is scared or not because I am just so worried that he is even though I am pretty sure it's just a battle of wills. He just sounds so sad up there calling for me. God I wish this would end. Am I doing the right thing?
YES. You are doing the right thing. It's hard, and I fall for it all the time! My 3 year old can sense my resolve weakening and she pulls out all the heavy artillery right then!!! She'll say, "But Mom, I just need one more hug." Or, "But Mom, I want you to take my horse and snuggle with him since I can't snuggle with you," (that one KILLS me!). Or, "But Mom, we haven't talked about dreams yet and I want to take you to your favorite dream place tonight." She's been that good at manipulating me since she was 9 months old!

My newest thing with her, and it seems to be effective, is to say, "Okay, talk time is over starting now. Anything else you have to tell me, put it in your tomorrow box and we'll talk about it in the morning when you wake up." And I showed her where her imaginary tomorrow box sits right by her pillow and she can pull her thoughts out of her head and put them in the box and I ask her about it first thing in the morning.

Another thing I've been doing with her that is helping, is that I tell her that I'm going to go and do some housework or watch tv or shower or whatever I'm going to do.... and that I'll be going to bed at 10:30 and that I will check on her and give her an extra love before I go to bed but that I expect her to be sleeping before that! Since she can't tell time, it doesn't matter if I go to bed at 10:30, or 2:30, she just likes the assurance of knowing that I will come back to check on her.

Don't feel guilty. Our kids can sense our weaknesses and they play on them and use them to their advantage all the time! I know it's hard to look into his sweet little innocent face and believe that there is an evil genius mastermind hidden behind those eyes, whose ultimate goal is to manipulate you and bend you to his will, but unfortunately, that's pretty much what's going on. Give in now and it will be that much harder to stay in control tomorrow night.

One last thing you might try.... start explaining the days of the week and let him have a calendar in his room. Mark off the days using stickers. Set aside one night a week for extra snuggling time. It doesn't have to always be the same night, it might work better if it's not always "Thursdays Snuggle Night," you know? But set aside one night for each week and on that night, give him an extra half hour of snuggling and cuddling.... maybe with an extra couple of books to read or something. Not that you can't snuggle every other night of the week, but make this an extra special night each week, you know? Just a random thought I had just now.

Anyway, don't feel guilty! The fact that he went to sleep after you were firm with him says that you are doing the right thing. Be strong and hang in there! It does get better!

 
Old 09-24-2009, 10:27 PM   #8
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Re: Please help, don't know what to do!!!

Hi There

Just a suggestion from a Grandma who often has her 3 year old sleep over. He used to fuss at bedtime sometimes a while ago. One night I told him to go ahead and go to sleep and I would be back in a while to check on him. It seemed to be the magic words... and off to sleep he went.

I now tell him this everytime I tuck him into bed at our house and he always goes right off to sleep now.

Hope things get smoother for you.

reach

 
Old 09-25-2009, 10:11 AM   #9
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Re: Please help, don't know what to do!!!

Thanks for the support and those are some good ideas. I have and do tell him that I am going downstairs and I will be back up to check on him when I come to bed and that I will come in and give him one more kiss when I come up. I try to reason with him but I think at 2 he's too young for the kind of logic I am trying to sell him! He doesn't seem to be listening to me when I tell him these things. He just keeps repeating the same thing over and over "mommy up to bed" He doesn't make much eye contact with me when this is going on either, sometimes that is. It kills me because I am 95% sure he is not scared and he's just playing me but b/c he's still so young and can't vocalize his emotions much at all yet there is still that 5% of doubt and that's what gets me. The "what if he really is scared?" I was a terrified child and still am to some extant now when my DH travels for work. So the thought that he is going through that and I am ignoring him make me want to cry. But how do I know!?!? I ask him what's wrong and he either just doesn't answer me or again is too young to be able to answer a question like that.

 
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