Monday, July 19, 2010

If Not This, Than What?

I don't believe in doing battle over everyday events and I don't believe in sending mixed messages, but there reaches a point when you wonder, should I rethink my parenting philosophy?

I don't believe in doing battle over everyday events.  I don't make a fuss if my son doesn't want to go potty before we get in the car.  I don't start a fight if my son doesn't want to eat a meal.  I don't get particularly upset if my son won't take a nap.  If he doesn't want to potty, eat, or sleep, well, okay then.  I don't get too worked up over it because my attitude isn't going to change his behavior.

I also don't believe in sending mixed messages.  Once my son was in underpants, he never saw another diaper or a pull-up diaper.  Once my son began regularly sleeping in his big boy bed, I filled his baby crib with old clothes and outgrown baby gear.  The message is the same:  he's a big boy now and this is what big boys wear and big boys don't sleep in cribs.

My son was up until an ungodly hour for the second night in a row.  It was after 10:00 pm before he fell asleep on both nights.  Understand that my son has been sleeping a minimum of 12-hours each night for well over a year and he'd been going to bed every night at 7:00 pm. 

I'm afraid that I didn't handle it very well last night and, in desperation, I cuddled him on the twin bed in his bedroom.  I don't know when he fell asleep because I fell asleep too.  Sometime in the middle of the night, I put him in his own toddler bed.  When he pointed to the twin bed tonight, I knew that he wanted me to cuddle with him again tonight and I realized that I sent him a terrible message last night:  If you won't go to sleep, I'll cuddle with you until to you on the twin bed until you go to sleep.

So I refused to cuddle.  And he refused to go to sleep.

We didn't have a battle.  It was more like a cold war.  He could sit on the couch, but there wouldn't be any television, toys, or books.  He sat on the couch until his father returned home this evening.  When I heard my husband's car, I told the boy that he could sit with his father for a few minutes, but he would have to go to sleep after my husband put him to bed.  Interestingly enough, he went right to sleep after cuddling for a few minutes with my husband.

I don't know if I should rethink my parenting philosophy, but I had some serious doubts tonight.  My problem is, what is the alternative?  Yelling and fighting with a child to make them go to sleep?  Somehow punishing the boy to make him go to sleep?  I don't think these would work with my son and I don't care to try.

Maybe I don't need to rethink my parenting philosophy just yet.

1 comment:

  1. I'm doing a total facepalm at the glaring typo in title. Preview really should be my friend. -sigh-