The Mischief of Minions

Kids, Family, Insanity…

Bedtime anguish – can you help me? Please?

on July 19, 2012

So cute when she’s sleeping -but so hard to get her to sleep!

Seriously, this is ridiculous. The pain of knowing I am losing a war with a three-year-old is humiliating. And costly. I am an awful parent. My daughter has giant black circles under her eyes. WE have giant black circles under our eyes.

When it was just one child, things were easier. I had more hands. I had more patience. We could attempt the bedtime routine thing with books and music and it was enough. It isn’t anymore.

I admit it: I struggle somewhat with structure in my own life. I know that I should start putting her to bed at 7:30pm, walk her to her room, get her into her pajamas, brush her teeth and read a book.

But when I get home at 7pm from work, that makes it hard: I want to see my kid; I want her to know me. So we play. We dance. We color. We talk. We eat. I lose track of time with frequency in the midst of having some quality time with my family.

But even when I try to get her in bed by like 8:30pm? It’s a battle. And we’ve been weak: we’ve let her go to her room and read books on her own. On occasion, she’s managed to slip into bed with an iPhone and play games. We’ve done whatever we could do to keep her away from her brother long enough for him to actually go to sleep, and it is backfiring miserably.

She gets jealous that he is getting the attention. She cries, she yells, she bargains; we threaten, we wheedle and cajole. Last night, I found her downstairs watching the TV we had left on, bug-eyed because it was a seriously scary show and the poor thing couldn’t look away.

I’m near the end of patience with what to do. I’m out of ideas.

I am pulling out my already predominantly gray hair (you know, under the awesome highlights). So this is a plea: Readers, those of you kind enough to read my musings and struggles, how do I fix this? How do I solve the bedtime problem before she hits puberty??

Please, your comments and wisdom and advice are desperately needed!


6 responses to “Bedtime anguish – can you help me? Please?

  1. GIRRRRRRRRL. Got nothin’ for ya, except my way…which is let em cry. I firmly put mine in a bed and let em cry. If they get out, they get consequences. Period. I AM A MEAN MOM THOUGH. I know my limits, and it is NIGHT TIME. I have zero patience for night time antics. From birth till they move out. HA. Good luck love. Just know, it is short term…I promise. By around 4-5 years things at night smooth out..mostly. This might help: have a HUGE glass of wine before you attempt bedtime. Cheers!

  2. momthinking says:

    I don’t agree with the comment about letting her cry. That will only stress everyone out more. It is completely understandable that you want to spend time with her when you get home. You miss your time with her, but you also know she needs to rest and so does the whole family. What always worked best for me was setting a routine. Make her bedtime later if that is what works for you, but establish a system. Maybe do all the dancing and energetic stuff first and then start to wind down towards the set bedtime. Let her know what is going to happen, so she knows what is coming next. With my daughter we had a chart with pictures that showed the bedtime routine. I would let her know when we were getting close to bedtime and then we would count down the last five minutes. She also knew exactly what was going to happen. She got two books, two songs and then goodnight. Of course any time you start something new that she probably won’t like, she will resist and complain. It already sounds as if nighttime is a struggle, but if you keep it up for a few nights it will get easier and then everyone sleeps.

  3. gfunkified says:

    Does she take naps? My (just turned) 3 year old takes short naps during the day when she falls asleep on the couch, and then stays up WAY too late. It’s a struggle. You’re not a bad mom. You just need to experiment with structure/schedules/routines and find out what works for both of you. You can get there!

  4. Shannon G. says:

    I’m in agreement with the bedtime routine, but I think it is important to be prepared to let her cry as well. Resistance and complaining turn into crying, especially if she’s used to her bad behavior causing you to cave in. I’ve found, at least with mine, that the crying will change after a bit, and you can check on her, and soothe her so she doesn’t fall asleep in tears.

    My daughter is there right now, and I’ve got a baby on the way. I feel your pain! Other suggestions I have: white noise in her room (a fan or something) glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling, and no toys with batteries or lights within her capability to turn on in the room.

  5. […] Bedtime anguish – can you help me? Please? ( Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. This entry was posted in Parenting Challenges and tagged bedtime, kids, Parenting, Snack by Shannon G.. Bookmark the permalink. […]

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