Saturday, May 15, 2010

New Sleeping Arrangements

    My daughter hates to go to bed. Period. Night time rituals have always been stressful and tiring for us. Every aspect of it, from brushing her teeth to deciding what stories to read have got to be drawn out and dramatic for some reason. I blame her father for the drama gene she so obviously inherited. Teeth brushing includes tears, clenched jaws and occasionally the same moves we have to make to get eye drops in her eyes. After all that she is in bed, story read and she seems ready to sleep. Nope, she then begins the singing and the talking, or the chanting of mama for sometimes up to two hours. It's really hard to ignore in a small apartment, believe me I try.
    So hubby the other night thought is was a great suggestion for her to sleep in her tent on the bed. He thought that if she was sleeping in something neat and different she would happily climb in a fall asleep. I'll give him credit on the fact that she got sucked into the idea and went to bed easily that night, although she still didn't fall asleep quickly. The problem is, that the tent has to be set up on our bed. For some reason she won't fall asleep in her own bed. She gets hysterical if you try, something about that room scares her. She rarely plays in there either, she'll drag her toys down the hall instead of sitting in her room. So now the nightly ritual doesn't just include the bedtime fight. Now she has to be taken out of the tent when she falls asleep, then we have to move and collapse the tent so we can go to bed. There has to be an easier way.



Rose (dragons in the flower bed) said...

Good lord that child is cute.

Rose (dragons in the flower bed) said...

Oh, wait, that wasn't helpful, was it?

My littles aren't quite that bad. I swear by audiobooks, especially Rabbit Ears or ones with a full cast and sound effects. They keep my kids mentally busy until they're asleep, but they're a thousand times better for their mental health than TV.

Maybe you can set the tent up somewhere else? Even the living room would be better than your bedroom, right?

You could have a room blessing. Make magic formula (use whatever she says ought to go in it, or just add sparkles to water and make a label that says, "blessing water" and present it as such). Spritz it around the room. Ask for fairies or gods or whatever your kid is inclined to believe in to bless the room. Have her pick out a stuffed animal to be the guardian of the room's good energies, Protector of the Bedroom, and institute him/her on the room blessing day. Maybe rearrange the furniture too. Disassemble the bed and let her have the tent on the floor. You could have a magic object (of her choosing) and, after you take the bed out, have her toss the object with her eyes closed, saying, "May this land in a place/to be my tent's safe space." And wherever it lands set the tent up.

Also, new posters. New window treatment. If the room spooks her, change it. I bet you've tried that, though.

Of course none of this will work if your kid is as skeptical as my seven-year-old. Worth a try, though. Even if she just skeptically sulks while you walk through it in good faith, that might help.

Stuff On My Blog said...

Rose has some great ideas! My 6yo has a stuffed dragon 'room guardian' that keeps an eye out while they sleep. We also caved and gave them little torches (er... flashlights! :)) that stay lit as long as you squeeze them. That way as soon as they fall asleep, out goes the torch and everyone is happy.

Anonymous said...

We find we get Kai to get ready for bed right after dinner so the taking of the medincation, teeth brushing, getting jammies on etc goes smoothly because he knows it is not time for bed. The quicker he does it the more time he has to play etc.
Then 30 mins before his actual bedtime we get him in his room doing something he looks forward to like books on tape, listening to music, playing Lego on his bed, or on some special nights watching a DVD on a portable player. I keep some toys that are only for this time so he is excited to play with them again.
For lights out we have used glow in the dark sticks for fun too!
Some nights I read a story to the kids while they are in their beds (they have to be laying down or I'll stop reading) the key is sitting in the hall outside their opened door so their lights are off but the hall light is on.
Hmm whatelse??
every night we pick a destination for our dream date. Say it is the beach- We start talking about what it is like there and what we are going to do eg. It is a sunny day but their is enough wind that we are flying a kite and runnig along the hot sand in our bare feet...
We are both to try to meet eachother in our dreams that night and then we have fun talking about it in the morning.

As an aside, We started our french lessons too! Kai is having fun with the flash cards.

Sara said...

Thank you for the really awesome ideas. I'm not very creative and probably never have come up with ideas as fun as these. I'm hoping we move to another house over the next few months, so I thought it would be easier to start over at a new house with the sleeping thing. But I'm not sure of any exact moving date so I may implement a few of these ideas right now instead of waiting. Thanks again for the ideas.