Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Lemons into lemonade?

I posted a status update last night on facebook making reference to the mother of all fits that Tyson was throwing at bedtime... It started with him not wanting to brush his teeth ("I can't! I don't know how!"), moved on to him not wanting to wash his hands after going potty ("I can't! I don't want to!"), and finally evolved into him focusing on the fact that we wouldn't cuddle with him. We're talking screaming, grunting, stomping, yelling, and crying uncontrollably. It was definitely a "Where have we gone wrong??" moment. I started laughing a couple of times (not in front of Tyson of course), only because if I didn't start laughing I would have been crying. My heart hurt to watch him be so upset, but Rick and I were not going to give in to his spoiled behavior. It was a power struggle, for sure.

After he kept running out of his room screaming about his room being "boring" and us "not being fair" for not cuddling with him (at 8:45pm after the fit had been going on for over an hour), we decided to tell him that his bed would be taken away if he continued to come out screaming. He screamed FROM his bed for about 5 minutes, knowing what would happen if he did come out, but he couldn't resist- out he came. So, he lost his bed, and he had to sleep on the floor in a sleeping bag for the night. I still wouldn't cuddle with him, but I did end up sitting in his room reading my book while he calmed himself down and finally fell asleep. Now I'm sure there are people that will read this and NOT agree with the way we handled the situation (taking out Tyson's bed), and I'm sorry for that. I probably wouldn't agree with every parenting decision you have made, either. But, Rick and I are good parents and most importantly WE LOVE OUR KIDS- very much. Also VERY important throughout all of this- we didn't yell at Tyson, or get angry with him, or lose our cool. We were calm the entire time- and thankful when it ended.

This is how our smart, strong-willed, free-spirited son ended up sleeping last night.
Tyson was most concerned about losing his bed because he wanted to be "comfy".

This morning, Tyson woke up and shared his new room "set-up" with Riley. They promptly decided that Riley needed her sleeping bag out as well, so they could play camping. They built a fire, cooked, and generally got along really well playing for most of the morning. Tyson even told me earlier that he didn't want to earn his bed back until tomorrow- even though he's making good choices today and COULD earn it back- because he wants to continue sleeping in his sleeping bag ("Because it was so much fun!"). So, did our "punishment" backfire on us because now Tyson thinks his room is fun for camping without the bed? I don't think so. I think he still got the message, and today has been a new day. A better day. So far.

This was their camping "set-up".


Heidi D said...

Kids are a pain in the ass. I'm not afraid to say it! I dearly love them, but pain in the ASS!

I saw that post last night btw. I empathize with you my dear, I really do. It also doesn't get easier as they grow up, just different. Just a heads up. :)

Keep up the good fight!

p.s. My room is boring too.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about your night terrors. Strong willed children can be truly frustrating. Just remember they will always love you unconditionally no matter how hard and unfair it seems to them when the punishment is given. Tough love is really the toughest on the parents..... Good Luck and we are praying for things to brighten up for you! And they will