How To Make Sleeping Children Independent | Close to the house


Q: I am a single mom who works with a 4 year old daughter who is not going to sleep unless I go to bed with her. Also, if she wakes up in the middle of the night to find that I’m no longer in her bed, she comes and crawls into bed with me. If I try to persuade her to return to her bed, she starts to cry.

To be honest, I just don’t have the strength to fight it. She knows what I want her to do, but she also knows that I haven’t applied it yet. Can you provide me with a workable plan that will not cause him – and therefore me – anxiety?

A: Sorry, but there is no fearless way to turn your daughter into an independent sleeper.

Your story is proof of what I have been saying for years: Independent sleepers are happier and better adjusted children. Let’s face it: you describe a 4 year old bedtime basket case, yet another in a long list of parent / child sleeping victims. And to think that there are trusted “experts” who recommend this emotionally crippling practice. I could name names, but I am writing this in an unusually charitable mood.

First, the longer you respond to your daughter’s bedtime drama, the worse it will get. I strongly encourage you to start your daughter’s bedtime rehabilitation next Friday at the latest. If possible, take Thursday and Friday off and implement the following solution Wednesday night. This gives you four nights of “cure” before you return to work, and four nights should be enough.

Second, there is no way you can do this without disturbing your daughter. Just keep in mind that her cries are withdrawal symptoms and that withdrawal is painful but not harmful. Third, the solution will be more traumatic for all parties involved if it is introduced in stages. It is absolutely necessary to introduce it all at once, the cold turkey. And once introduced, do not hesitate.

The solution: on Tuesday night, tell your daughter that you spoke with her doctor, and he said that you can no longer come on the big day, sleep with her at bedtime, or come to your bed. the night. Remind her that common sense laws require people to do what their doctor tells them to do. But you’ve decided that after you put her to bed and gone (don’t linger), she can turn on all the lights in her room and take her time falling asleep. You’ll even give her a sleeping bag and set up a tent for her to sleep in if that’s what she wants. Sleeping can be an adventure. But she has to sleep in her room. The doctor said so, and that’s it.

Also, the doctor said when you go to bed you have to lock your door. She can drag her sleeping bag down the hallway outside your door and sleep there, but you can’t open your door until morning.

Again, the key is not to waver. Your daughter will probably scream, cry, beg, and make promises that if you allow her to sleep with you just one more night, she will never ask you to sleep with you again. Be ready for a night straight out of a Stephen King novel, but don’t dare open that door. In the morning, act like nothing has happened. Only two or three nights to go.

Keep this in mind: when this is over, and it will soon be, you will see a much happier little girl waking up in the morning.

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