Thursday, August 16, 2012

why i've been dreading the bedtime routine

By this time of the night she is beyond tired & we know what's coming. As soon as I tell her, “it’s time to brush your teeth”, she turns into a little monster!

 It all begins with the loud screaming. Loud, as in the neighbors can hear her loud. She roars at me like a lion the devil. She gives me a few good whacks & I duck to get out of the way as she chucks her bottle of soap & her My Little Ponies at my head. 

If that wasn’t bad enough, she then scratches my arms, pulls on my clothes & bites my fingers.

It’s not a pretty scene.

you don't wanna mess with this :) 

As she attacks me, I keep my cool & tell her to use her words instead of hitting. I tell her what she is doing makes me sad. And over the screams, I try to explain that it’s not nice to hit. 

I even give her a hug. 

She has found a way to test me & although this only happens when she is tired, she needs to know this type of behavior is unacceptable. 

Tired or not, it’s not okay.

I was a little unsure of what I should be doing when my kid is hitting, biting or scratching me, so I reached out to the wonderful mama’s over at Mama’s Comfort Camp to ask for advice. I was amazed by the amount of support given & the great ideas they all had.

Here is some advice that I received from mama's at Mama's Comfort Camp

1. A calm, matter of fact attitude is very reassuring to a child. Be consistent & gentle.

2. Try not to tell her that it makes you feel sad. (One mama suggested that kids are not responsible for parents’ feelings.) Instead, during the day when she is not tired, try talking about how hitting/hurting is never okay.

3. Eliminate the hugging when she acts out! She may think the hug is a reward.

4. Try saying, “Hitting is not okay” & then place her in a time out space.

5.  Take away something as a consequence. “You just hit me; that means you lose ___." All matter of fact with no anger. Not giving the child the benefit of a reaction.

6. Try telling her, “I choose not to be around people who are going to hurt me” & leave the room.

7. Use a Yes/No/Yes technique: 

“Yes, I know you want to play & stopping makes you frustrated & angry.” (Showing her that you understand her feelings.)

“No, it is 7pm & it’s time to brush your teeth. I am the mommy & it’s my job to take care of you & make sure you get ready for bed.”

“Yes, you can play with that toy tomorrow. We can read a story after you brush your teeth. What story would you like to read?"

8. Try moving bedtime a little earlier. And get the bedtime routine out of the way before she begins this behavior.

Some great ideas, right?!

So far, we have had a very successful TWO nights using some of these techniques! For two nights she has brushed her teeth, took a bath & got ready for bed without any tears, screams or attacking her mama! 


We moved her bedtime 30 minutes earlier. During the day we are talking about how hitting is never okay. I am saving the hugs for after she brushes her teeth. And I was calm & gentle using the yes/no/yes technique.

I'm sure that I will have to incorporate other methods on this list & I know every night won’t be perfect but we will definitely keep using these techniques!

thankfully, she's usually a very happy kid! 

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