Recently I was talking to my friend who is a teacher about Noah and how I was having difficult bed times with him. He is 3 and he just seems to have realised the ability that he has to say ‘no’. He has started to refuse to go to bed!
It is such a difficult situation. Even when I was totally present in the moment I could just not work out what to do about it. I tried being kind and patient and explaining why he needed sleep. I tried being cross. I tried physically putting him back in bed. None of these approaches seemed to be working. Eventually I went for cross to the extent that the cried and then he was so exhausted that he fell asleep.
That wasn’t the ideal solution because I love bedtimes with him and leaving him crying wasn’t really what I wanted to do. What I wanted was for him to want to go to bed.
My friend leant me a book which is old fashioned but really interesting. Although I don’t necessarily agree with everything in it, it is certainly food for thought. It certainly backs up that love and security and the essential ingredients in bringing up a boy well.
My friend also suggested a sticker chart and so this week we have been doing a reward chart. It has worked so well! We had a couple more difficult bedtimes and so I explained why there was no sticker for bedtime when we did the chart the next morning. Since then it seems the problem has been solved!
Learning how to discipline our children and encourage them to do the things we want them to can be tough. From my own experience loosing your temper is the worst way to deal with challenging behaviour. You need to be cool and calm to get anywhere. Children are clever. They know what they are doing so you need a clear head and you need to be one step ahead.
Mindfulness is the perfect tool to give you clarity of thought. By taking a few breaks in your day to be mindful you will learn to allow your thoughts to slow. This will mean that when a difficult parenting situation arises you will have the head space to think about how to deal with it well.
There are so many different parenting styles and so many techniques that are recommended. Everyone has to make their own choice. However you chose to bring your children up, take the time to chill out every now and then because it will definitely help you to do a better parenting job.
Come on a Revitalise Day to equip yourself with the tools to stay calm and focussed. The retreat will provide you with a real break and will give you time to reflect on how you want to play things.