Help Me Help My Friend: Single mom trying to get 33 month old to bed peacefully.

Annie - posted on 02/23/2010 ( 2 moms have responded )

90

36

7

Okay, peeps, here's the skinny... My best friend since middle school, practically like a sister to me, has had a hard row to hoe. She has a 2 1/2 year old daughter who she is raising alone, and doing a damn fine job if you ask me. She has been under a lot of stress in the past 6 months getting in a head-on collision with a county deputy leaving her with scars, medical bills, no vehicle, no job (she got fired a week after her wreck because she was recovering from surgery), and a failed suit against the county. She is currently abiding with her parents and her 7-year-old brother who has absolutely no boundaries or rules to follow and basically runs rampant and whines until he gets his way. In light of all of this, she has still managed to keep her cool and continue to raise her daughter with discipline, even though she has received negative support from her parents through comments such as "you're being too hard on her" in front of her daughter. To me, this sort of undermining is detrimental to any sort of disciplinary foundation a parent is trying to lay.
But throughout all of this commotion, the biggest problem she is having is that her daughter screams and cries for over an hour about going to sleep. It's not the getting dressed and ready for bed part she won't do, but the actual going to sleep. She just won't lay still. She's tried just about everything from just laying her in bed and putting her back every time she gets up (which worked for my 2), to letting her watch a movie to fall asleep, which still doesn't work. She feels (and I can understand why) like her last interaction with her daughter for the day should be positive, not stressful, especially since she is the only person setting boundaries in her daughter's life. It's such a hard situation and I thank God every day that I've had the support of at least my husband when it comes to making and keeping rules in our house. I can only imagine what she's going though to an extent.
If any of you have ideas on how to get her daughter to go to sleep peacefully, please post them. I know what works for one kid won't necessarily work for another, hence the fact that my experience didn't help any, but if we get enough ideas, one of them is sure to work. Thank you so much!

2 Comments

View replies by

Annie - posted on 02/23/2010

90

36

7

Hi, Megan, Thanks. She doesn't take a nap during the day for that reason. When she lived on her own, her daughter had her own room and a crib so she did let her cry it out, but now they share a room and there are others in the house who don't appreciate her crying and simply want her to be pacified so she doesn't disturb anyone. They say she's too hard on her. Even when she does just let her lay there, she doesn't stay in bed and will come back out repeatedly until momma gets frustrated (and rightly so).
I'm sure the stressful situation is not helping matters at all. I would love to see her get back on her feet asap, but it's so hard. And now without a car she can't get a job and without a job she can't afford a car, so she's trying to save up her unemployment but I fear it will be a long time, too long to have to bear this nightly argument. She listens to me when she stays at our house but I think it's because I can pull off the Daddy voice and I'm not afraid of being the mean Auntie, AND she sees my kids behaving whereas at home she sees her 7-year-old uncle get away with murder as long as he whines about it long enough. It's frustrating even for me and I'm 20 miles away in my perfect-by-comparison world. :-( Thanks for your help!

Megan - posted on 02/23/2010

5

6

1

Has she tried to set a routine, letting her daughter know it's time for bed? Maybe skipping the nap during the day to make her more sleepy at night, or shortening her nap? Or maybe even just letting her cry it out for a while before coming in there to check, and letting the time pass a little longer and longer before the next visit??

I don't know how much of a help I am, with my daughter, we pretty much had to let her cry for a while before we would come in there and see to her, and even then not pick her up or cuddle her but talk to her in a whisper, and then leave again. I hope she finds something that works. It may be because of the stress and the situation that has her little one out of sorts. :( Hope to hear a good report soon!!

God Bless!

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms