Tuesday, January 29, 2013


We are having a lot of trouble with Cam and bedtime. It's not HORRIBLE by any stretch of the imagination - but we put him to bed, and then he gets up about 4-5 times over the next hour asking for a hug, or a different toy or that he is hungry or thirsty or needs a snack. I don't do bedtime (I do mornings, and at bedtime, I do the dishes and put away clothes, etc) I'm actually often at swim practice while this is an issue, so Aaron has been dealing with it.

He has been increasingly frustrated with Cam, and he is getting angry almost every night. My personal parenting style (and what I do with the two of them in the morning) is if they are throwing a fit, I ask what the problem is - and if they can't verbalize it, I say I'll be in my room getting ready for the day -come talk to me when you are ready.

If it were me dealing with bedtime, I wouldn't get into a huge discussion about what toys he needs, how hungry he is, or anything else. I would lead him back to bed, and explain that it was time for bed, I love him very much and I will see him in the morning. Works awesome with Maggie. But, when I have tried that with Cam, he cries. And cries and cries and cries and screams that he wants daddy and he NEEDS (insert whatever random thing he is losing his shit about today). And he will keep this up for way longer than a temper tantrum... so it's much more than something you can walk away from until he gets over it.

Aaron can't take this. He distinctly remembers crying himself to sleep at night as a kid because he had this exact same issue growing up. He just wanted something, his parents said no, and he wasn't able to calm himself down. His parents wouldn't help him learn to calm himself down, they would just yell and yell and then get fed up and leave. And Aaron would cry himself to sleep. So Aaron is trying to teach Cam how to deal with the feelings and calm himself down.

But it's SO frustrating.

And. It makes me think back to my childhood. I just don't remember things like Aaron does. My childhood is a weird blur with a few things that stick out in my head, but I don't vividly remember bedtime or anything like that at all. Is that normal? Like I remember going to camp in the summer, but I can't tell stories about it. I swam on a swim team on the YMCA from the age of 8 -18, and I certainly don't remember details except that I went there and swum. A lot.

Anyway, I think Cam is lucky to have a dad like Aaron. Who recognizes exactly what Cam is feeling and is trying to help him work through it. Even though it pisses him off.


HereWeGoAJen said...

I'm glad that Cam and Aaron understand each other.

Carrie said...

I'm like you with the memories. I remember very few specifics. I always thought it was because my childhood was so dysfunctional and awful. I really don't want to remember it.

Christy said...

We have the same bedtime issue, nightly, with Andrew. Sure wish we could figure this out. Some nights we end up locking his door until he falls asleep.

Heather said...

I remember my childhood bedtimes like they were yesterday! I hated going to bed and was never tired, but my mom stayed home with us and was d-o-n-e at 8pm. I shared a room with my sister who liked to go to bed, so I kept her up and with my antsy-ness and subsequently got in trouble every night.

In my case, I just wasn't tired and you can't make yourself go to sleep before you are ready. I would have loved it if one of my parents would have taken the time to have some one on one snuggles with me.

My oldest is just like me with bedtime, so we do get extra nighttime snuggling in. But I work. If I stayed home I don't think I'd be so eager for more togetherness. :)

Of course none of this may apply to Cam, but I'm glad that Aaron understands him and is trying to help.

Deborah said...

What is Aaron doing to try to help Cam learn to calm himself down? I think that is great of him. It's hard to know when children are just being difficult and when there's really something wrong, so it sounds like Aaron is helping ensure that Cam really is okay.