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!