Looking for advice

Nina - posted on 03/06/2011 ( 2 moms have responded )

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First off, here's a little bit about us. My boyfriend is more with CIC, and never really travelled a lot until recently. Together we have a son age 2 1/2, and I have 2 daughters ages 5 and 7.

For most of 2011, he will be working on bases while I stay home with the kids. We've done this off and on before with very little issues, until this time that is. Our son is not handling it very well this time. His eating habits have changed. Bed time has become a nightmare, he stays up til atleast 10 p.m. most nights regardless of what I try. He wakes up every night, usually around 3 am, and climbs into bed with me or sleeps on the floor beside my bed. The worse part though is his aggression since his Dad left. He screams constantly, his favorite word to scream is NO, and has started hitting and biting again (something I had stopped long ago). The MFRC where my bf is posted currently, gave us some stuff for the kids to help them understand why he's not here, but it's more geared towards the parents overseas. They had also lent us the Sesame Street DVD on Deployments, but my son had no interest in it. The last suggestion was for me to find support groups in our area since there is no MFRC close to us. I know that the issues I'm having with him are normal for the situation, so I'm looking for advice on how to deal with it and help my son. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

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√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 04/22/2011

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Well, I would try looking into the self soothing method. He's definiatly old enough and sounds like he needs to learn how to calm himself down a bit. Expecially at night, he shouldn't need to sleep with you or on your floor. It is very hard at first, but your supposed to do the normal bedtime routine then close the door and hold it closed if you need to. Let them cry and trash the room for 30 minutes (just make sure he's safe in there) then go in, tell him goodnight, put him back in bed, and hold the door closed again. Let him cry, and in 10 go back in....... and repeat going in there every 10 minutes until he falls asleep. Its hard to do, our son is only 5 months old and I started it. But it only took him 2 days to start napping on his own. Before, he whined for an HOUR before having to be rocked to sleep. That's obnoxious. I have muscle spasms, and he's the size of a 1 year old no joke my body just couldn't handle it so we tried it and it's been a life saver. So if you are having bed time troubles I would definiatly try this. Don't let him sleep with you, and it should only take a week if you stick to this routine. It can be really hard to do at first, and let your baby cry. I read all about this method for a month before I felt he was old enough to handle it and I was okay enough with the idea to try it. You just meet your wits ends and need something. It works though. My boyfriends mom did this with her kids when they were 2 so it can be done at any age. It should really help his daytime mood too, to learn to be calmer. My son now doesn't whine during the day nearly as much. It's been a miracle.

So even though you and your family are going through a hard situation.. you can be strict and require them to go to bed, and how to deal with life during the daytime when they miss their papa :)

Arlene is right, I joined a mommy group for sanity and to hang out with the girls but they all have 2-4 year olds they get together so they can all play. Its really neat, and fun. So I would look for a playgroup nearby. Good luck :)

Arlene - posted on 04/22/2011

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My husband has been deployed twice and on course numerous times. I have a 4 year old and a 1 year old. My son did all the things your son is doing except he was a little younger...1 and a half. I just tried to keep him busy. I took him to as many playgroups as I could find, whether they were structured ones I paid for or just with friends and their kids. I took him swimming, played outside, walks all over the neighborhood. I did anything that I thought would be distracting or tiring. I also had my husband record little videos for him, and let him carry around pictures of his Daddy. We talked about him all the time and I tried to give him words to use to talk about it. I know they're young, but they often understand more than we think. We talk on skype everyday and the kids love it, and so do I. My son slept in my bed, never had a bed hour because he fought it too much and I basically did what I had to to get sleep and avoid tantrums and bad behaviour. My son was aggressive too and I find he still gets angry at 4 years old sometimes becasue he wants his Daddy to come home. I hope I was able to give you some ideas, and good luck, I hope things get back to normal for you...there is always an adjustment phase after they leave, and then again when they come home.

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