4 1/2 year old won

Nicole - posted on 06/15/2011 ( 4 moms have responded )

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My 4 1/2 year old daughter has never been a good sleeper. She has never been allowed to sleep with me. I have gotten to the point that I allow her to stay in my room and watch a movie to fall asleep too but she will not go to sleep she will yell that her movie is done. I have set her bed time for 9pm for almost 2 yrs now and she has pushed her bedtime later and later often 3-4 times a week. And now it is nearly every night, she is staying up until 12-1am. We get up at the same time everyday for daycare which is 8:30 and she does not nap at daycare and really never did they always had trouble with that. The main, issue with the sleep is that she becomes overtired and laughs at me and won't follow anything I tell her from lay down to help me get your pj's on. She laughs and runs around. I tell her this is not a game and mommy is getting angry. I try to refocus her to my eyes and get down to her eye level telling her in a low slow voice that mommy is getting angry and she needs to please help me and I tell her again what I need her to do. If I threaten a spanking, a time out, or taking something away she laughs and says it doesn't hurt and or will ignore me and keep doing what she is doing. If I do spank her she laughs and says it doesn't hurt and there is no way it can't hurt, it hurts my hand. (I've increased the strength on my spanking thinking maybe I wasn't doing it hard enough to shock her). (Also use it as a last alternative, she may get 1 ever few weeks) I have also tried the positive reinforcement both material, verbal and physical. Like you can have a treat after breakfast if... or you are a good girl I know how good you can be show me how you can get your pj's on. Anyway the jist is nothing seems to work, and I find that I am at my wits end, I feel like I'm realing and have no options left. I am also a single mother, she does see her father and has a good relationship with him as well. Any ideas about the laughing? Discipline? Or Sleep issues? Help please.';

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Dianne - posted on 06/17/2011

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I know it sounds odd, but her bed time needs to be earlier. When kids get overly tired they have a harder time falling asleep. I am a certified parent coach and I recommend kids this age start getting ready for bed no later than 7:30 and lights out no later than 8:00. Use a very consistent bedtime routine where she put on pjs, goes potty, and brushers her teeth in the same order every night. If she gets these things done in time (with your help) she can have stories until it is time to turn off the lights. Keep the house quiet and use a quiet voice so the environment is letting her know that things are starting to settle down. No TV 30 minutes before bed, and definitely not while she is falling asleep - it is too stimulating. When she gets out of bed, don't talk to her, simply take her hand and lead her back to her own bed, then leave the room. You will probably have to do this many many times, but it will pay off in the end. Feel free to contact me to talk about your particulars at www.motheringlikethefather.com.

Julie - posted on 06/17/2011

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As far as bedtime goes, she needs to learn to sleep in her own bed, if 9 o'clock is her bedtime than stick with it, when you tell her it's time for bed, she should be going in her own room, and like Sabrina said, try keeping the sugar at a minimum as you get closer to bedtime ( i would say no more sugar after 5 or 6) and try giving her some warm milk alittle b4 bedtime and maybe lay in her bed with her and let her pick out 1 book to read and than it's time for her to go to sleep...NO more movies/t.v. at bedtime. I know some parents think it's gonna relax the kids but actually it's stimulating and could have the opposite affect, which seems to be happening here. The key is consistency. It's not gonna happen in just one night but if you keep at it she will eventually see that you are not going to budge and this is what she needs to do, So as drastic as it may sound this is what i would do. 1st...as far as daycare, I would just tell them to put her down for a nap and if she doesn't sleep that's fine as long as she is made to lay there until it is time for the other kids to get up, on the weekends when she is home with you, than you should give her a set naptime at home in her own bed and again if she doesn't sleep that's fine as long as she knows she is to stay in her bed and not play with any toys, till you tell her she may get up. I would remove all toys from her room until she shows you that she can be in there and not play with them when she's supposed to be sleeping. She will test you as i'm sure you already know but she needs to know YOU are the boss! When she gets out of bed and comes out of her room at night (cause she will at first) just take her hand and put her right back in her bed. The 1st time she does it just tell her it's time for bed and do not get up again,(don't strike up a conversation, keep it short and to the point) the next time she get's up you don't say anything you just keep leading her back to her bed. It may take all night the first couple nights but believe me she will soon see that you mean business and she will get it. You can certainly reward her for her progress when you start to see it and let her know why she is being rewarded, praise her as often as you can and try to ignore the negative/bad behavior. They crave any attention, even negative so if you ignore it she should eventually stop that or at least decrease her not so pleasant behavior. When you are disciplining her always be stern in your voice, i'm not saying to yell but have a tone where it shows that you are in authority over her, she will laugh because she knows it makes you mad and pushes your buttons, so when she does that or tells you that her spanking didn't hurt, completely ignore it...don't even respond to it, that's what she's looking for, she wants a reaction out of you, so if you don't give it to her, she will see that it doesn't bother you (even though it really does lol). I'm a single parent of 3 so I know it can be very difficult at times but you can do it, don't give up , just keep loving her and being a good mom. hope i helped and remember don't give up , it's gonna be hard but if you stick with it, it will pay off :)

Sabrina - posted on 06/16/2011

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with the sleep issues, i learned that giving them too much sugar during the day, keeps them up later.

with the disciplining...when my 15 month old started learning to hit, which is normal for his age i guess...well, i let him know by my facial expression (which is very angry) and tone of voice that it's a very bad thing to do and told him "no, no, bad"...and he stopped after a couple of times of doing it. You just gotta say it like you mean it, I guess.

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