My Children. My Opinions. My Tales.

Friday, June 13, 2008

It's Friday the 13th - how are you sleeping?

Has a black cat crossed your path today?

Have you walked under a ladder?

Or maybe you just suffer from Triskaidekaphobia?

Yes, Friday the a young teen we would have slumber parties and watch horror flicks and play with the Ouija board all night...why, you ask? 'Cause that is what girls do to frighten themselves silly!

I can't wait for Jelly bean to reach that age!

Oh wait, I think I am getting a taste of it now, as she already wakes every night screaming for mommy.

This has been going on now for about a month. It can be really frustrating. As a parent, you want to go in and comfort them, but at the same time -- if you do it becomes an endless cycle. Then if you get angry, they know they can still get your attention at 2am -- it becomes an endless cycle. Then if you don't come, they figure you will break if they cry long enough - and again an endless cycle.

What does a parent do? A friend recently suggested that I ask her what her punishment should be if she wakes up mommy and daddy at night (unless she is sick or hurt). Sounds tough, but she said it worked for her little late night talker.

So, tonight I asked Jelly what her punishment would be, and she said to "take my princess dolls away."

I am praying that she doesn' t wake, because if I take the dolls will be a long, long, long night.

To be continued...


Jozet at Halushki said...

Ah yes...the endless cycles. I know them well.

They are, truly, endless.

And when one finally does end, guess what?

Another starts.

But you'll figure it out. I think of my children as a giant Rubik's cube. One side get's figured out while another side gets scrambled, lol.

Jill/Twipply Skwood said...

I can help you with the potty training. I'm afraid I can't be of any use with a lousy sleeper: I'm STILL a sucker for a kid who's scared in the night even though my kids are 10 and almost 13.

So...I've always been willing to get up in the night, and thus I have a ten year old who occasionally wakes me because of a nightmare.

I will make this suggestion though - I would ask her, rather than how she should be punished I would say something like this to her:

"Mommy is very, very tired in the night and mommy is MUCH NICER to you in the day if she gets to sleep at night. If you are VERY VERY scared in the night, mommy is very close by. But sometimes you're only a little bit scared and maybe there are some ways you could make yourself less scared and still let mommy sleep. Can you think of some things you could do by yourself to make yourself less scared?" And then if she can't offer any suggestions, maybe you can offer some - Maybe she could turn on a lamp or night light? Maybe she could keep some stuffed animals at the foot of her bed or crib to hold when she wakes up? Do you still have a baby monitor? Maybe you could set it up somehow backwards that she could hear you & when she cries you could say things into the monitor like, "Mommy is very close but mommy needs to sleep right now and Jelly needs to try and go back to sleep."

Like I said, I never had any luck with getting my kids to sleep when they were very young so I'm sure I'm not the one to ask. I just think that if she DOES wake up scared of the night or of being alone or of a bad dream or of anxieties about potty training or whatever other anxieties tiny people have & then she additionally has to worry/be scared of punishment if she reaches out to her only safety - the adults in her life, it seems like that could potentially backfire. But maybe not. Maybe it will work. You never can tell with kids.

I will say, though, that ultimately HER goal is not to make you sleep deprived but to feel safe in the night and get a good night's sleep & (and, okay, maybe sometimes get a little extra mommy time!) it seems likely that the best way for that to happen is to figure out what will make her feel that way. Ultimately it will be getting older & more mature but for now, you just sort of have a guessing game on your hands. I realize it's possible that she could be manipulating you some of the time, but it's dark and she's small and some of the time she really is probably scared. And that I think that way is why I still have a ten year old who wakes me up on occasion...Sorry I couldn't be more help!

Carey said...

Jozet - Rubix cube, never thought of it that way! Good analogy!

Jill - Thanks, I will try it. We are now suffering from a thankfully benadryl has been taking affect. :)