Gentle Parenting Success Stories and Suggestions #9
Today’s post is a gentle parenting QUESTION (aka “suggestions”) post – please read to the end and give this mama some feedback on how you have handled siblings and sleep issues in a gentle way.
My issue is that I have two boys who are 3 and 5. They share a room. At this point, either my husband or I have sat in their bedroom at night when they were falling asleep. With only an occasional issue, things went pretty well until about 3 months ago. Since then, there are fairly regular nights when they do anything to keep themselves and each other from falling asleep. They kick their covers, laugh, throw things, etc. They seem to get riled up by each other, and on those nights it just gets harder and harder for them to fall asleep.
I should mention that about 6 weeks ago we moved into a new house, and about 3 1/2 weeks ago I had a baby. While I realize that both of these are contributing factors, and both of those events probably led to much of this behavior, I still feel like I need help dealing with the resulting behaviors.
I’m not interested in using any sort of threat or removal of my presence as a way to get them to go to sleep, so I try not to say things like, “If you’re going to play around, I am going to leave.” I admit that sometimes I have said that in the past on nights when I felt particularly frustrated, and then I feel bad about that in addition to being frustrated.
It’s really not an option in our house for them to have separate rooms. Our other bedroom is on another floor, and both of the boys are too young to be in the other room alone.
We use a white noise machine, which they tend to be indifferent towards. We’ve used music in the distant past as a way to help them relax. We have also tried talking to them about ways to calm and relax their bodies when they are in the room and in bed. I’m open to trying any or all of those things again. I just feel like I need a plan before I start trying, trying, trying new things.
Also, I should add that I don’t mind sitting with them. While I do think that at some point it would be nice to be done sitting with them, I don’t feel like it has to be NOW. Right now, my main concern is their lack of sleep and the results it has on their moods the next day(s).
Thanks for taking the time to read this. I look forward to any sort of suggestions that may result.
Photo Credit: AKPhotos
There are two resources that have been the most helpful to me in my own gentle parenting journey. First, reading about others’ experiences: real-life examples of challenges met with respect and compassion can be both educational and inspirational. Second, when I face a challenge of my own, I have always been able to turn to my local AP group for a fresh perspective and creative ideas.
I’d like to provide a resource like that here at Code Name: Mama, so I’ve introduced a series that will feature your stories and questions. In particular, I’d love to feature stories that build on consensual living principles or the techniques and ideas discussed in books like Respectful Parents, Respectful Kids; Playful Parenting; Unconditional Parenting; and Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves.
I am not looking for stories about parenting techniques such as time-outs, negative consequences, coercion, or punishment.
If you have a gentle parenting success story or a question on how to gently handle a challenging situation with your toddler or preschooler, please read the contributor guidelines and contact me. Let’s not go through this journey alone!
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"Gentle Parenting Success Stories and Suggestions #9"
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