Squirt has been having a terrible time getting to sleep ever since we took away his pacifier. He used to put that sucker in, grab his little night-night blankie, and fall asleep almost instantly. It was glorious. Now, he talks, throws EVERYTHING out of his crib (which Moose puts back every time and it becomes a game), cries, screams, jumps. It is awful. Something we haven't dealt with before for 4 years.
Last night was no different. He had been talked to, disciplined, and all blanket/pillow/stuffed animal privileges had been taken away (he had feetie pjs on so he was warm enough). So frustrated. He finally fell asleep...but woke up (which he has been more prone to also without the beloved papa) close to midnight. Big A is snoozing peacefully beside me and I had just put down my book, so guess who got the baby?
I had been reading Shepherding a Child's Heart. Last semester, my church held a class where they watched the videos that go along with this book. We didn't attend because we were facilitating another class. I've heard so many good things from the attendees that I really wanted the book for myself. So I bought it as a Christmas present. I didn't start reading it right away but I'm currently halfway through (I did skip ahead to read the "how" of their discipline techniques).
So I decided to put what I'd learned into action last night. I got my "baby" out of his crib (which we had earlier in the day tried to change to a toddler bed but he'd lost those privileges by jumping out a million times) and rocked him. He gets angry at night (now) no matter what you do. He was pushing his little chin into my shoulder (ouch) and hitting himself, kicking his legs, thrashing around (it can get awful sometimes). It just got worse when I told him it was time to lay down and go to sleep.
We went through this a few times over different things (mostly disobedience). To preface this, if you hadn't read SACH then please know that when I say disobedience, that's not just behaviorally. I want my children to change their heart attitudes and place themselves under my authority which was given to me (and my husband) by God. Basically, I want them to obey me so that they later obey God - and learn from me so that they later learn from God.
I took my son to the bathroom (so as to not awaken "all those sleeping trucks" in our house), told him he was being disobedient, took down his little jammies and disciplined him very very calmly and quickly (no parental anger being vented! Thank you Holy Spirit for self-control and patience). I hugged him, told him I loved him. Then we went through that we were going to 1) get a drink, 2) lay down in Squirt's bed (he got upset when I said he couldn't lay in my bed so we had another round of this), and 3) go to sleep. I said it about 10 times before giving him his drink so I could get it dug in his brain. When I finally laid his little head on his pillow, he cried, but he subsided before I got to my bedroom. Awesome.
I haven't been a huge fan of this book thus far: it repeats itself far too often (although I understand the point of driving the points to the heart) and is not that well-written. However, the methods and standards in this book are great. I'm happy at a chance to teach my children to love God, to obey us as the authorities God has provided over them, and to keep in the safety of honoring and obeying us.