I know every parent under the sun can relate to this: the negotiating that goes on to delay bedtime even just by “one more minute”. Last night, we had a negotiating session that ended in a tantrum of epic proportions. It was awesome.
Honestly, I am in awe of 3M’s tantrum’s. They are truly works of art. And I feel bad for her because she ended up with a mommy that is a behavior specialist and is not very sympathetic to tantrums. They do not occur often, but when they do- WOW.
Last night I found 3M in the hallway coloring in her “robot” which takes a lot of “concentrating” and “a bit of time”. When I told 3M it was time for bed, I was met with the first of the negotiations.
“Just 6 more minutes”.
“No, it is time for bed. It is already past bedtime”.
“All I need to do is finish this- I am super fast”.
“3M, it is time for bed- you already had your 5 minutes of play. You need to be in your room in your bed.”
“But I just need to be out here for 11 more minutes.”
“Play time is over- get in your bed.”
“That is NOT part of my PLAN!”
“You can go get in your bed by yourself or I will help you.”
“You are NOT my friend anymore!”
I then lean down to pick her up and get, “DON’T touch my body!”
Once in her bed commenced the screaming and rolling around like she was going through some sort of exorcism. At one point she stated, “I am NOT tired. I need to go to Mars so I can stay up late!” Ah, the thoughts of a toddler. LIfe, of course, would be better on Mars.
Pi and I sat there….laughing. Quietly of course, and turning our heads so she could not see, but laughing none the less.
I know- some think I should validate her feelings, engage in some toddlerese and sooth her. But that’s just not our way. Believe me, when she needs comfort we give it. But at this time, on this occasion, this little bundle of out-of-control feelings just needed to be upset for a bit and let this tantrum run its course. I started talking to her very quietly so she had to be quiet herself to hear me. Lamby in one hand, finger in mouth, tears in eyes, she let me tuck her in her bed. I gave her a kiss goodnight and she nodded sleepily when I said it’s time for sleep.
But then I see a light under her closed door. I open it up and there she is, up in bed, flashlight in hand, coloring in her robot.
And, here we go….
We have a pretty good bedtime routine and typically she is asleep within 5 minutes of the last book being read. We’ve found that the same routine at night very much helps with getting her calm down and knowing what’s expected of her. Doesn’t mean she isn’t resistive at times, but overall the consistency works. To wind down after dinner, she gets 30 minutes of downstairs play, then it’s up to brush teeth, 3 books read to her by daddy, and then 5 minutes of play on her bed before we come in and say “time for sleep”.
What are your bedtime routines? Any good bedtime negotiation or tantrum stories to share? Would love to hear!
Have a great crazy day!
Click on the pic for my great Hump Day Hook Up reads!