Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Snap To It! Status Report

It's been about two weeks since we started operation Snap To It! and I wanted to give a update on how it's going.

While I was reading Raising Your Spirited Child I came across an idea that really smacked me in the face. The author talks about picking your battles and enforcing some rules and not others. The problem is finding the balance between too much control and not enough. Because every child is different, there is no simple answer. Instead, what she suggests is that you know you are being too lenient when you start to resent your child's behavior.

I was definitely at the point were I was resenting some of Michael's behavior. Specifically, the bedtime stalling. Some nights were super easy and bedtime was enjoyable. Some nights were so hard that bedtime was consuming up to two hours of my evening. It was so bad some nights that I would end up in tears because I couldn't stand it anymore. I was so tired, so stressed out, so behind on everything, and I was letting Michael call me back into room multiple times after lights out. I was driving me mad.

The bedtime battles are not completely gone, but things have certainly improved over the past two weeks. If Michael starts pre-light lights out, Michael is warned that he's going to lose story time. So far, I haven't had to follow through. His biggest pre-lights out stall tactic is that he wants me to help brush his teeth instead of Andy. He pulls it almost every night, but we don't let it get beyond a simple complaint.

The biggest problem remaining is on the two days he goes to school. Those are the days that he naps and can't fall asleep at his normal bedtime. I think he also feels some anxiety about school, and it also gets him worked out at bedtime. So, those are the two nights that we have post-lights out call backs.

Prior to this winter, that was never a sleep issue, so Andy and I had never worked out a plan for handling post-lights out call backs. The only reason they got started to begin with was fear of Michael throwing up in bed. But, once they got started, they turned into a way for Michael to get extra mommy time. MOMMY time being the key.

So, on the occasional night when he starts with call backs, daddy handles them in a nice, efficient daddy manner. Funny, when Andy handles them, Michael rarely calls Andy back in after the first visit. That works for me.

So, bedtime is going much better. We aren't at 100% yet, but the 95% is enough to eliminate all of the resentment I've been feeling. It's also letting me exercise more and get more done around the house. It's a much needed change.

I must say that I do love some of the excuses I've heard Michael give Andy for his call backs. Last night Andy walked in and asked Michael what was wrong and Michael responded, "I'm confused."

I couldn't hear the rest of their conversation, but I got a giggle musing over just what could be so confusing about going to bed that Michael needed clarification. Who knew falling asleep was that complex!


LauraC said...

Glad to hear it is working well!
That is Jon and my rule as well. When we feel like we resent how the crazies have taken over our life, it is time to be strict about 1 2 3 Magic again.

Lindsay said...

Yea for improvement! That makes it so worth it, doesn't it?

My BFF tells her son that Mom/Dad will only respond to one post-lights out request so he's better make it count!

Karen said...

YAY on getting some much needed rest time at night! Sometimes I think we have to revise our tactics until we come up with a plan that works.

Maria said...

Yay for a better bedtime routine! That is my least favorite battle, because by the end of the night when I have so little patience left, it's when I need the most. Doesn't feel quite fair.

Beth said...

My recent favorite heart-tugging post-lights-out stalling request was the following,

W: Mommy, I feel lonely when you leave me.

Me: I'm just in the other room, William, and if you fall asleep quickly, you'll be asleep, and we don't feel lonely when we're asleep.

W; But Mommy, when I'm lonely, it makes me sad.

Awwwwwww. Just kill me, why don't you! Glad things have improved and that you found a strategy that works.

DesiDVM said...

Not sure if you already have this but one thing that has been soooo helpful with J is his clock. He got a Hot Wheels alarm clock for his birthday - by far his most favorite gift. He can't exactly tell time but he knows how to read the clock so when he's stalling I just tell him bedtime is whatever is 5 minutes away and blame it on his teacher, i.e. if it's 7:30 I say "Your teacher told me you have to be in bed by 7:35 tonight." Then he spends the next 5 min counting down. I'm not sure what he thinks will happen if he goes to bed late but it always works.

Stacey said...

That's really good news!!

I don't think we'll ever be there with Cole.