One of the biggest challenges every day is getting all four kiddos to sleep at the same time. And to be honest, I'm amazed at how well they do for the most part. We have our challenging days - more specifically, our challenging children.
C has never been a "good" napper. Ever since about 18 months, she has struggled to take a good nap. If I can ever get her to be still for long enough, she'll crash for a good 2 hours. But the whole discipline of being still is something we are continually working on.
I do think one reason C struggles more than her sisters is she experienced two moves at very critical life stages - at 18 months and 2 years. I've heard you can make or break a child in 3 years, and I do believe those years are so important in shaping a child for life.
So anyway, we possible screwed little C up with all those moves, but what can I do now to help her move beyond this and succeed in disciplining herself? The newest experiment: C cannot get up without falling asleep. (Or that's the way I explain it to her.) Hey, if she happens to be still for 2 straight hours without falling asleep, that's a huge success, and I will gladly reward her progress. But the likelihood of that happening are slim to none.
So how does this play out? Not sure yet. Yesterday was the first day of the "experiment." To make a long story short, she missed a lot. She had to stay in her room in her bed all afternoon. It wasn't fun for any of us, and her crying broke my heart. Andy and I both had to help each other be strong and not give in. But I think she learned how this new system works.
And today as the girls were getting into place for nap, C told me that she was going to make good choices so she could play with us in the afternoon. We shall see.
I'm excited about this experiment and am praying for success. I'm so blessed to have the ability to stay home with my children and try different techniques to help them grow. I love the challenge! I love my kids!
Mini-update: I just walked to the kids' room to check on them. All are sound asleep except for C. I whispered for her to go ahead and fall asleep. She shook her head and said, "I will Mom." I couldn't hear very clear, so I stepped closer for her to repeat. I heard her, and she added, "If some big people, like the size of you, will get out, I'll be able to go to sleep." This sounds sassy and disrespectful, but that wasn't her attitude at all. She was earnestly asking me to stop talking and leave so she could go to sleep. Oh how I pray the next update is positive!
Update: WOO HOO! We've got success! The trials and heart break of yesterday were so worth it. My precious C has fallen asleep - and within 20 minutes! I know this doesn't mean she'll never make bad choices at nap time again. (Hello!! Don't you wish we could learn the first time around, and never make the same mistakes?! That would be real nice.)
But we may have found a system that works for C for this season in her life. I love helping my children grow and develop! Way to go C! I'm so proud of you babe!
And now I'm off to take a nap. I'll be out within 3 minutes - tops. :)