Bedtime battles

I was all set and ready yesterday to write an extra helping of thankfulness because S had been AMAZING all day.  She listened, she shared, she ate without me having to jump through hoops, she helped out, she played by herself, she napped.  She was seriously the most perfect little girl. 

And then bedtime rolled around.  And she morphed into a monster.  I can handle a little bit of stalling.  But the jumping on the bed, throwing her toys, banging on the door.  On a good day it makes me dread putting her to bed but on a bad day it makes me downright angry at her.  Mr H and I sometimes have to switch out because one of us gets so angry.  And once we hit that point it’s counterproductive.

What’s especially frustrating for me is that I’m a freaking behavior analyst.  I go in to other people’s homes and fix these exact same problems for them.  But my own kid was making me crazy.  So, just like I did with potty training, I took off my mommy hat, assessed the whole situation, and wrote up a behavior plan.  We’re only on day 3 and while intellectually I know that it is too early for there to be a significant change, emotionally I’m like one of the parents I work with.  I want immediate results.

What is bedtime like in your house?  Is it (or was it) a nightmare when dealing with a 3 year old?  What do you do?  S still naps each day which I know doesn’t help the whole going to sleep situation.  But she definitely NEEDS that nap.  She’s a wreck without it, or she’ll pass out on the couch around 5, which is even worse.  I’ve been keeping her nap to an hour and half but it doesn’t seem to help. 

So distract me.  Any thoughts or ideas?  Or can you just commiserate?  Misery always loves company!


November 16, 2011. Uncategorized.


  1. BigP's Heather replied:

    When Katherine was little she loved going to bed. She would take our hands and tell us it was time. Now, at three, it is a tantrum. She SCREAMS. In the past few days it is a tantrum because she wants the door open/a different blanket/ a book/ etc. Anything to make us stay one more minute or cater to her in some way. The last two nights she has been getting up in the middle of the night (which happens during growth spurts for her, except I don’t think that is what it is right now). I don’t know what to do. Wanna switch kids for a few days? I will come to your house at bedtime and you do mine?

  2. HereWeGoAJen replied:

    I had bedtime totally good for something like four months. Ten minutes of story, song, backrub and she would go right to sleep. And now, we’ve had two months of torture, where no matter what I do, she screams and wails for an hour and I always have to go back in there. I do not know what is going on.

  3. Rebecca @ Unexplained X2 replied:

    i have one kid who will go to sleep after a few hugs and kisses…he’ll even tuck himself in.

    i have another kid (same age) who will call us in every 5 seconds for something completely inane, will cry for no reason, needs lotion on her hands, wants her nightlights “started over,” and everything else under the sun. i started the ferber method with her again last night (ya know…the one that you use on babies when they’re crying it out) and we made some strides. she is quite the manipulator though. i commiserate.

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