Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Time for Some Tough Love Around These Here Parts - Wednesday

Originally, this was to be a post about tough love for Youngest.  Now it's about tough love for both children.  Yay.

The Official Goodbye to Paci Weekend happened 2.5 weeks ago.  Hind sight tells me I misinterpreted Youngest's reason for waking up nightly (sometimes repeatedly).  It wasn't because she needed her paci replaced.  It was just a good ol'bad habit.

Which has continued since Paci went buh-bye.  Add to it that she's taking close to an hour to fall asleep at night and has only been sleeping a little over an hour for her nap, and we've got one over-tired toddler on our hands.

And you know what that means - Mama's overtired and getting C.  R.  A.  N.  K.  Y.

Last night Oldest really, and I mean really, showed herself at gymnastics.  No less than THREE times she took off (much like a toddler) to do a running jump into the pit, with the teacher calling, "Miss Oldest, Miss Oldest - it's not time for the pit.  Come back to class and participate!"  Which she would, AFTER she did what she'd decided to do.  In her defense, her friend was doing the same thing and sometimes peer pressure is a great motivator.  It's also a great teaching  moment for a parent.

Tough Love
So in keeping with my March resolution to NOT YELL (which SOMEONE needs to give me a cookie for being able to keep from it yesterday), we're having ourselves a little tough love 'round these here parts.

Cry It Out for Youngest and Grounding for Oldest.
Youngest is 2.5 years old - which is plenty old enough to sleep all night without a little pat, cuddle, re-tuck, drink, or question anywhere from midnight to 5am.  And I'm never going to reach a state of semi-rest if I'm catering to her.  And if I'm catering to her and therefore tired, I'm WAY more likely to yell during the day.  Because I'm mad at myself for this going on so long and because I'm TIRED.

Oldest?  This isn't new.  Sometimes she really has to stretch the boundaries of behavior to remember what her privileges are.  Don't all kids?  She's going to choose from a menu of consequences when she wakes up.  She will need to choose two items and most items last three days (for 3 times of not listening in class).  Things like no dessert for 3 days, no computer for 3 days, sitting out the last class, not taking gymnastics in the spring, going to bed early for 3 days (I'm kind of hoping for that one).

Seem harsh for either one of them?  Not really - if there's one truth I'm learning in my own project - sometimes to get happy, you have to get through some unhappy first.  And that's going to be for all of us for the next few days.

**Special Note:  As I finish this, it's 6:30am.  Youngest USED to sleep until 7:30/8am, but is right now up there starting to call out.  This is MY time - one of the few times a day someone else isn't asking for something from me.  Her waking up strengthens my resolve that IT IS TIME.

What about you?  What tough love have you done recently?  And what does it take to get you past "minor consequences" to the tough love stage?

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