Annette Nay, PhD

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What do children like at 2 or 3 o'clock in the morning?
  • Watching their favorite programs or movies.
  • Having snacks.
  • One-on one time with Mommy and Daddy.
  • Crawl in bed with Mommy and Daddy.

Do you wonder why your daughter is not sleeping through the night?

A behavior exists because it gets the child exactly what s/he wants.

What do you do to stop this all-night behavior?

  • Check to see that s/he is not ill.
  • Give him/her none of the things s/he wants.
  • Put him/her to bed and leave him/her there.
  • Do not talk to her after you tell him/her, “Good Night.”
  • Use your monitor to make sure s/he is alright.

Will s/he cry himself/herself to sleep? Yes.

Will s/he finally fall asleep at the door or somewhere in the bedroom other than his/her bed? Probably.

You can go in after you are certain that s/he is asleep and cover her/him where s/he lies. Do not risk trying to move him/her to the bed.

Will it tear your heat out? Absolutely!

How long will this behavior continue? For as long as s/he feels that there is a chance that s/he will be able to get what s/he wants.

Things will get worse before they get better! Totally!

When a behavior that has worked before, does not get the child what s/her wants, the child tries desperately to make it work again.

This brings about some really exaggerated behavior.

Finally, the child realizes that what s/he was doing will not get him/her what s/he wants and s/he goes to sleep.

What if s/he can get the door open?

Get the door knob caps that prevent children from opening doors.

Put one on the inside of the child’s door.

Will this behavior ever come back? Yes!

When a good tool/behavior to get what the child wants goes bad, the child will periodically try the tool again, to see if it will regain its potency again.

What should you do?

  • Check to see that s/he is not ill.
  • Give her none of the things s/he wants.
  • Put him/her to bed and leave him/her there.
  • Do not talk to him/her after you tell him/her, “Good Night.”
  • Use your monitor to make sure s/he is alright.

What should you do if you live with your parents/In-laws?

Tell them of your plans and ask for their support.

If they care about your child and/or you they will go along with the plan.

What else can be done to insure the child is ready for bedtime?

Start some bedtime rituals:

  • Tell the child before bedtime that it is time to get ready for bed. This should be about 5 minutes for small children and about 15 for school-aged children.
  • Clean up the toys.
  • Brush the teeth.
  • Small drink of water for the potty trained child.
  • Use the toilet.
  • Read a book.
  • Say the prayers.
  • Say, "Good Night."
  • Kisses and Hugs.
  • Light-out and the door is closed for the night.

The child will try to prolong the ritual to spend more time up with his or her parents. Do not allow this!

What if my child awakens crying from a nightmare? Fall back on the rituals!

  • Comfort the child. This should take no longer than five minutes.
  • Use the toilet.
  • Small drink of water for the potty trained child.
  • Say, "Good Night."
  • Light-out and the door is closed for the night.

Rituals allow both of you to know what is going to happen when the child does something. You are not left questing what to do and the child knows that his/her behavior will not gain him/her any mileage in:

  • Watching their favorite programs or movies.
  • Playing with Mommy or Daddy.
  • One-on one time with Mommy and Daddy.
  • Crawl in bed with Mommy and Daddy.

Make sure the child has activities that thoroughly wore him/her out before bedtime.

Make sure that the child is not taking more naps than s/he should throughout the day so s/he can stay up during the night.

Make sure that the child has lots of one-on-one time with mommy and daddy throughout the day.


How To Get Your Child To Do What You Ask How To Get Your Child To Do What You Ask
by Annette Nay, PhD

Dr Nay's eBook is an informative parenting tool every parent should have to make the job of parenting easier and more effective.
Click the image for more information.


 


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