There is nothing more motivating than another parent’s success story to help bolster the strength and courage to make changes in your own family.
Here is the testimony of one family’s success when they agreed to buckle down on being both FIRM and FRIENDLY at respecting bedtime tuck ins. It only took two – count’em TWO nights to train the child and restore peace to the family evenings.
Here is what I wrote Adrienne when she emailed me about her daughter who was dawdling at tuck ins, drawing them out from 7:45pm to after 9pm with complaints of fear of the dark, needing to pee and all the other tactics kids discover.
Hopefully you’ll feel encouraged enough to try my advice too.
Glad things work out so well with the potty training!
For tucks-in, go through the regular routine, but when it is the last story, kiss her goodnight and leave!
Don’t fall for her stalling tactics. Simply say "tuck ins are over, we will see you in the morning". "You don’t need to sleep, but you do need to stay in your room."
Then leave the room.
If she comes out, you need to walk her back without talking and simply offer the choice: "Can you stay in your room on your own? Or do I need to put up a gate? (or you can put a childproof door knob cover on)
If she comes out, simply walk her back, no words, no more tuck-ins with hugs and kisses, just put up the gate and go about your evening business.
She will scream and cry and plead.
But if you can do this one or two nights she will stop trying to "work you over" and get on with getting herself to sleep again – which she has shown you she can do already.
Here is feedback I got from Adrienne:
Well, once again we have followed your advice and seen amazing results. Adelaide screamed and sobbed, ran out of her room and hid under our bed, behind the curtains, wailed and yelled for 2 delightful nights! We had to walk her back into her room quietly many many times. On the 3rd night, she kissed me and said "I love you mum, sleep tight" and rolled over and went to sleep. She has slept 11 hours a night since that night and is less tired during the day and evenings are happy in our house again!
Thanks again, Alyson! You’re starting to get a reputation in our house for working miracles!
I hope you’re inspired to get past the tears,tantrums and tactics and re-establish a respectful bedtime routine!
Share your stories with others in the comment field below.