PLEASE HELP

Kristina - posted on 11/18/2012 ( 1 mom has responded )

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PLEASE, will SOMEONE tell me how in the world you get a 4-year old boy to stay in bed?? I don't know when I lost control of this situation, but I have definitely lost control. I've been to pretty much every website/message board/blog/medical journal out there to try to figure out what it is that my son needs that he's not getting to just freaking stay in bed. I know a routine is needed. Got it. Dinner, bath, books, bed. The problem is that the time changes throughout the week based on my work schedule (which is worked around my class schedule). Mondays and Thursdays I get home around 8:30 pm, by then he's had dinner and sometimes my sister has given him his bath, at which point I spend a little time playing with him, then it's story time and lights out around 9:30. On these days I understand that me coming home later gets him all wound up, but still, the rest of the days I am home by 3pm and I have weekends off. The routine for the rest of the week is started at 7pm (after dinner) and it's bath, a little quiet play, then 2 books and its lights out at 8pm.

And then all hell breaks loose. My sweet little boy that I can talk to and reason with during daylight hours turns into this cackling manipulative little monster that I want to throw out the window. Kidding. Kind of. But really. He has a nightlight with music, so he's not scared of anything. The very SECOND I close his door he is up and out. Since most nights he refuses to eat dinner with everyone else, he wants a snack. Should I even give him this or should I say too bad you should've eaten dinner? I feel horrible even thinking about that.

Anyway, after I officially do 'lights out' this is the routine:

he gets out of bed, I silently lead him back, put him in, shut the door. By the second time (sometimes it's even the first time) he's getting up laughing as he runs into the living room, looks at me, laughs and smiles, then as I get up to lead him back, he turns around and runs back into bed. I follow him, close the door (as he's still giggling hysterically like it's one big game), go back into my room or the living room. This goes on for as long as my patience stretches. Sometimes it's 5 minutes, sometimes it's an hour, sometimes two. Regardless, it never works, and when I finally crack because I realize it's not EVER going to work, I simply LOSE IT. He either winds up with a spanking, or I scream at him, or worse, both. After that sometimes he stays in bed, most of the time not. He finally passes out around 10 or 11 pm, sometimes later, but it's never from me successfully putting him to bed. I really don't know what to do. I start out every evening full of hope that I'll discover his magic combination that makes him stay in bed. I am open to absolutely any and all suggestions.

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Heidi - posted on 11/18/2012

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I had the same problem with my daughter, I would get so mad I'd end up screaming at her to stay in bed. Some nights i'd sit by her bedroom door and watch her little fingers sticking out crying and begging me to let her get out-it'd break my heart. Finally I got fed up, and even if it took five hours i would first start by walking her back to bed, tucking her in and saying goodnight, second time i'd walk her back and just tuck her in and firmly tell her it was night night time, third time i wouldn't say anything, and on and on and on and on not saying one word till i was red in the face about read to burst with tears, and just when i was about ready to give in and lay in bed with her, she'd go quiet... it started getting less and less and less and now (five years old) she usually stays in bed. I know it's hard and frustrating, i've been there, but repetition is the best answer i can give you. Once upon a time i laid in bed with her till she fell asleep, and realized my mistake when she wouldn't stay in her bed alone. Just gotta tough it out and deal with the problem now, you'll regret it later if you dont

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