Bedtime Tantrums

[deleted account] ( no moms have responded yet )

My son will be four years old in three months, and for the past almost 4 years of his life, I have taken the more gentle approach to sleep training. I will take blame first and foremost for not being more consistent. And perhaps that's what has me in the situation I am in today. It's just so HARD. For the most part, I practice attachment parenting. I am a single mom, so I am all my son has ever known. We are very attached. The bedtime routine has been the same since I started it when he was 3 months old (of course as he grows I make minor changes as needed). But, it's usually the bath time, getting dressed, brushing teeth, reading a story, and some snuggles. Some nights, I have to cut the snuggles short. And that's when it gets bad. My sons tantrums are like nothing I've ever seen...he will scream and yell and I just don't understand how he has it in him at such a young age. Of note, I am a very calm and gentle parent - so he's not picking up that rage from his environment. I am taken back by it. And that's when the cry it out method comes in and after NUMEROUS attempts at calming him down, to only have an outburst as soon as I get up from the bed really frustrates me to the point where I will just walk away and let him cry (for my sanity). We go back and forth with this for the past 3 years. I'm ashamed it's gone on this long. Half good nights and half terrible nights filled with a full out tantrum lasting 2-3 hours.

My question: what gives? How do I balance snuggles at bed time with "ok, mom will be right back?". I truly think that my son is so attached, he almost believes he controls me. It's more of a "if it's my bedtime then its your bedtime too"? Do I give in and snuggle, and ignore my other obligations which is not often. My issue is not rearranging my plans, my issue is that I have a child who is refuses to bend and instead demands I sleep/snuggle with him. I truly believe in attachment parenting but at the same time, why do I feel like I'm being treated like a child by my son?

I'm so tired of criticism from family and friends. Everyone has advice and all of them contradict each other; hence why I've been inconsistent. As a first time parent, and single parent at that, I try to be open to advice. But it's confusing me and my child. And now I'm left with bad habits I have formed that seem impossible to break free from. I just want to raise a good kid. I'm trying my best.

I'd love to hear what might work in getting a child who has resisted sleep since he was born to understand that his bedtime is not mommies bedtime too? Please help. Please.

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