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18.07.2015
Part of this exercise is releasing your own thinking that everything in your child’s world should be fair. All requests for behavior should start with, “I need you to” rather than questions such as, “Would you please” or “Would you like to” which imply a choice.
For steps that are completed with cooperation, use heartfelt appreciation to show that you are noticing and valuing her actions.
Include any special rituals in the bedtime routine that the children deem important, and that are acceptable to you. Requests for extending the reading time will be lovingly denied when lights out time has arrived.
When my youngest son was four years old, he had severe nightmares and was afraid to go to sleep. If the child seems too old for the blanket, doll, or stuffed animal, do not be the one to decide whether it is time to give it up. Alan and Alicia Elberg had had it with their children, Madison, age 6, and Josh, 11, at bedtime. The Elbergs had their first family meeting, and included their children in creating solutions for the bedtime routine.
The Elbergs wrote out the kids’ rules that started with “no.” Their list included no whining, no dawdling, and no getting out of bed, no bothering your sibling, no calling for mom or dad, no arguing, and no excuses.
The Elbergs decided that lights would go out at the designated time and that Alan and Alicia will continue with their evening’s activities. Alan and Alicia expressed their heartfelt appreciation for a great meeting to both children and to each other. As we all know, it is remarkably easy to give in to the demands of an intense child, just to create peace for one moment!
Another way to help children avoid the pitfalls of overindulgence is to plan ahead for challenging situations.
During a recent coaching call, my client related the story of her 11-year-old gifted son with ADHD. First, instead of challenging the 11-year-old holding cookies and milk, see that after a stressful day at school, he can benefit from some comfort in the food form and some down time in front of mindless (but please, appropriate!) TV. After years of training in authoritarian “teach the child a lesson” approaches, we need to unlearn our knee-jerk reactions to kids in adolescence who look as if they are misbehaving, and learn a whole new way of relating to them. Children of all ages are motivated by their internal urges (hunger, fatigue, mood, preference) which are influenced by outside forces (time constraints, siblings, friends, parents, grandparents, and teachers.)  We forget that the internal urges and outside forces are frequently out of sync.
Considering the motivation for behavior is a much better way to actually get the results we want.  Now some people think this might be coddling the child.  I would argue that with all human beings, listening to internal motivation results in better performance, so why not use this in parenting difficult children? When a grade-schooler refuses to do his homework, it’s not likely that he is simply lazy. Rather than exhibit anger over disrespectful behavior, acknowledge there’s an emotion that the child cannot express directly lying just under the surface. It is impossible to go through life without experiencing that hurt which comes from a unkind word, or a questionable glance.
I remember when I was very small—maybe four or five, sitting on a cushioned chapel bench and staring up into Mama’s face during the Sacrament prayer. Use an alarm clock to wake your child at a set time during the night so they can get up and go to the toilet.
Using DryNites pajama pants can help kids get over their fear of wetting the bed, remember waking up soaked can be scary for young children!
DryNites website specialises in bedwetting and understands how difficult this time can be for both parents and children.
Remind the child that each person in the family is having his or her needs met to the best of your ability.  We all have clothes, food, a roof over our heads, enough rules, hot water for baths, and lots of love. If you want grateful, generous kids, put more of your effort into fostering their gratitude and generosity than into trying to please them. Using the same technique you would with a respected adult, ask your child if she will be available at 7 p.m. You might say something like, “I have noticed that we are having trouble settling down without an argument at bedtime.
This creates a powerful heart-to-brain neural pathway for goodness, which strengthens the desired behavior significantly. Younger children should go to bed earlier than the older ones if there is an age difference of two years or more.
Make a comment such as, “It makes me so proud to see that you love to read this much, Honey, but tomorrow is another day, and you can read during any free time you have. As part of including your child in the solution, have him go with you to the store and pick out a special one. They were in a constant state of disruption and sleep deprivation especially from Josh’s behavior. They made sure that they paid close attention to the input and used a talking piece for the meeting.
Although these rules struck Alicia and Alan as a bit more harsh than they had envisioned, they thought about the pleasant nature of an evening without these behaviors, and decided to go for it. They followed through with more appreciative expressions the next morning by saying, “I just love it that this is the way we do bedtimes now!
No doubt it is extra energy out-put, but the amount of energy is about the same as the energy expended on negativity, and in contrast, it actually results in great improvements!
You are with relatives, and know that a fit could occur if you remain firm, so you take the path of least resistance. If you have the decisions made in advance about whether you are going to leave the store with a toy, or without a toy, you are relieved of the possibility of an argument.
If you are giving all your time to their activities, and have no time for your spouse or significant other (or yourself), that’s a good sign that things need adjusting. He had come home from school, and immediately loaded a platter of cookies, poured a tumbler of milk, and was heading to watch  TV. Notice the child in the present moment, and then ask a question, rather than deliver a command. Instead of playing the behavior police by correcting the infraction, we need to take the bigger view.
He is neither child nor adult, but a fluctuating, spinning, hormone-ridden, uncertain, fabulous, loving, angry, open, close-minded baby adult.
If you want cooperative behavior from your kids, take the short-cut by training your mind to see what’s beneath the communication. Kids get hurt a lot easier than most adults realize, so they are compelled to protect their tender hearts by lashing out.


It will be an emotion that the child is too young or too immature to express directly, such as hurt, frustration, disappointment, hopelessness, or something else you can help to identify. When these things happen we are left to wonder and assume what the person really thinks of us and if they intended to offend. One of our visitors came to me with a very pouty face and tattled on behaviors of two of the other children.
Check out the website for more information on enuresis, self-esteem in children and read others bedwetting stories. Rules should start with “no”: no getting out of bed once the light is out, no asking for more time, no stalling, no negotiating, no whining, no bothering your sister, no crying, no excuses. The break should take place in the bed, since that is where the child needs to be, and should last 30 seconds. It may take a few nights of this clarity for the child to adjust to the routine, but it will be well worth the effort. To communicate respect for her process, indicate that you are as bought in to the ritual as is the child; be sure to remind her to say goodnight to the fish if she forgets. Some nightlights are in the shape of child-friendly characters, but young imaginations can turn them ugly in the night. We sprayed the room every night for a few months, and that, with some gentle reassurance, took care of the nightmares. It hurts no one for him to hang on until it’s time to let go, and may be a crucial aide in his emotional development. He was getting out of bed after lights out, arguing that he was not being treated fairly, saying he was scared, and insisting on more water and food.
Whoever has the talking piece at the moment gets the full attention of the others with no interruptions. Each child gave input to the bathroom routine, which ended up with Madison brushing her teeth and using the bathroom first, and Josh following with a nighttime shower to make the morning routine more simple.
Parents soon realize that the forethought and follow-through they give to bedtimes pay off in a huge way, and they get hooked. Or you are at home, and need to get out the door for a soccer game or doctor’s appointment. It is REMARKABLY EASY to get into the mindset that if my child isn’t in every conceivable activity in the third grade, he will miss out on something vital to his happiness. But with new information to motivate your actions, make a plan for reducing overindulgence and bringing balance back to life.
His mother’s comment was, “I don’t think so…that homework has to be done!” What ensued was a huge battle, complete with name calling of the most horrible kind, mom getting shoved, and a call dad, (the parents are divorced, but communicating regularly about their parenting) who came right over and gave his lecture and heated attention to the infraction. A better comment might be, “That platter of cookies looks like exactly the thing a sixth-grader needs after a day at school.” The mom now has her son’s open, non-defended attention, even in the era of adolescence. He will give you the finger and call you a name that makes your blood boil one minute and climb into your lap the next. Children misbehave because they lack the communication skills and insight to tell us what’s really happening. Our first impulse as parents is to make him seethat he needs to get the work done so he can be successful.
He needs to make his own decisions, and we are inadvertently calling him incompetent whenever we advise him. Practice seeing your child’s innocence first, and working to understand what lies beneath the foul language, the time spent with the door locked, and the “interesting” style of dress. If we don’t give them cause to protect themselves (by seeing what’s really going on) they won’t have to be so defensive. Luckily, this is a good age to talk it over with your little one and start trying the bedwetting solutions below.
Having a giggle about Mummy or Daddy or a glamorous Auntie or a blokey Uncle wetting the bed could help prevent your little one from feeling bad about their bedwetting. This could be a difficult time for them and they need you to help and reassure them until the bedwetting solutions work. Grab a free sample of DryNites Bedwetting Pyjama Pants or get all the information on bedwetting. This gives the child a sense of being respected and also infuses a feeling of importance into a family issue. Only let’s do that without the yelling!  Would you kids like that?  “Yes!” will be the reply. Children know what the rules are, and the ones they offer will typically be more stringent than yours. No energy (no talking, no negotiating, no engagement of any sort) should be directed to the child during the break.
If you have four or more children, you may want to make bedtime more uniform so that you assure your adult time at the end of the day. Rituals are very important for children’s transition to the next activity, especially at bedtime.
If your child has not ascribed these characteristics to the stuffed animal of choice, it is all right to gently suggest them.
And never make a decision about the appropriateness of a lovie based on the child’s gender. By the time the battles had been fought over each of these issues, Alan and Alicia were so exhausted and angry that they were at the end of their rope.
When finished, that person passes the talking piece to the next person and then gives him full, uninterrupted attention.
And once the children realize that their bedtime routine is solid and predictable, their need to test the limits diminishes significantly, and the chaotic bedtime scenes subside.
You give in to the child who refuses to get into the car by over-promising something you can’t or don’t want to deliver.
The son ended his day with a sense of complete guilt, failure, and disconnectedness from both parents. With one foot in adulthood, and another in childhood, the sixth grader needs to have affirmations of his own self-efficacy whenever possible.
Use the child’s rules religiously whenever practical, as this creates buy-in, which strengthens the likelihood that the rules will be followed.
If the child refuses to take a break, say, “The break starts when you are calm, and as soon as you make it start, it can end,” with the firm conviction that you have decided that it is bedtime, and there will be no change in your decision.  This system builds a sense of security in the child.
Every time you do this stuff, I feel like you are making this house such a wonderful place to live!” Using the formula “When you … I feel … because …” for this feedback makes remembering how to deliver it much easier.
They provide a sense of continuity and comfort, which is vitally important to raising healthy kids.


Of course, if your child has sensitivities to chemicals, perfumes, or odors, you will want to avoid this one. They were open to any and all suggestions, and decided to give Present Moment Parenting a try. The talking piece serves as a powerful physical symbol of respect for children and adults alike. That will be a lot quicker.” Contingency plans were created for evenings when Alan or Alicia would not be home at bedtime. There is, of course, no guarantee that every single night will be quiet and serene, but progress toward that vision is very possible. We know that all of this can undermine your authority, leaving you to feel guilty about being an ineffective parent, but what is going on for the child? Create roles for each child, based on their strengths, and uphold those roles as special and necessary whenever you can. Overindulgence causes him to miss out on something vital to his happiness … the ability to entertain himself in his own way. His body is changing, his thought processes are changing, and his whole being feels a bit unfamiliar. Our first impulse would be much more helpful if instead, it was to determine what to do about the discouragement. He can’t say, “Mom, Dad, I appreciate that you care about me, and that you are more wise than I am. Want to tell me what’s up?” or “How about you take some time in your own room until you feel better and we can talk?” or “I remember being your age and feeling that same way. It implies that you are in charge, and also that you have complete faith that she can go to sleep on her own.
This is very valuable information for her, as it will help her to believe in herself in other areas, too. Knowing that you, as a single parent or with your spouse or partner, can definitely count on some winding down time helps you to handle the challenges that will come tomorrow. Reading together is my favorite bedtime ritual, as it points out that you value reading and learning, it offers a great opportunity for snuggling, and most important, it truly allows the child to feel your slowed-down, caring energy.
Dream catchers are Native American creations in which small hoops with weavings, beads, and feathers, serve to filter out the bad dreams and only allow the good ones. Joes need the same love and acceptance as their counterparts who depend on same-gender lovies. The Elbergs wrote down all ideas and used ideas from each family member in their final plan. Alan and Alicia stated that they would read or tell stories with each child, and that they would alternate reading with them. Parents who put in the effort toward planning bedtimes and thoughtfully implementing their plans say that it is well worth it when they realize the rewards: peaceful evenings, well-rested children and happy parents!
Author and researcher Jeanne Illsley Clarke has found that as overindulged children grow into adulthood, they are burdened with lowered self-esteem as parents, dysfunctional attitudes, and decreased adaptability in the family. But I need to make these decisions myself because I am becoming a young adult, and that’s what young adults do.
Sit down, and let’s try to make this better together.” You are getting to the root emotion, rather than placing judgment on the child’s behavior. As she sat with her head bowed and eyes closed throughout the passing of the bread and water, I thought about the words she had spoken.
They are wonderful, durable devices for helping children make the transition into a restful night’s sleep.
Josh, who has had the most trouble settling in to bed without conflict, suggested that Alicia or Alan give a ten-minute warning before bedtime. Dad would read a page and Madison would read a sentence, and mom and Josh would work out their plan as they went. If you feel you can get it done better and faster by doing it yourself, even though your child could do it, stop yourself right there. Turn off the TV, set some expectations for an afternoon of creativity, and watch what happens. If he doesn’t even know who he is, he can hardly defend himself against the ill-informed opinions of adults and peers. Please bear with me as I struggle and even fail sometimes.” So he leaves the house in a huff, giving the door an extra hard slam for emphasis.
A three-minute back-rub for Josh and a head-rub for Madison completed the plan for the nightly routine. Whenever that feeling comes over you, remember that it is a warning sign that you might be missing an opportunity to give your child what she needs. You facilitate his healthy development by assuming his responsible actions (he may not have known how responsibly he was going to handle his homework before his mom phrased the question this way.
We would be much better off if our first impulse was to support him in his decision-making, rather than tell him what to do. Have you and she been having fun while I was away?” If spending the night at a friend’s house with the lovie becomes an issue, leave the decision about whether to take the lovie along to the child. Alicia responded to their input by saying, “I notice that you are really thinking hard about ways to make our household happy at bedtime.
It’s time to slow down now, offer the child a chance to perform a task she’s good at, and pat yourself on the back for assuring her happy adulthood. It’s all happening at the same time…the development, the attitude formation, and the plan!) Furthermore, you predict his success by forwarding the action. They need to know that time to oneself or as a couple is vital to healthy adult living, and that it also ensures that mom and dad will be in a much better mood tomorrow. One little well-phrased comment can turn a huge name-calling shove-fest into a moment of enhanced self-esteem and responsibility. It indicates that they are all part of the same “child club” still in need of certain comforts at night. If your child does receive some ridicule for having the lovie along, she can decide what to do about it.
Trust your child’s sense of what will keep her the most comfortable in the situation, and assure her that she can call you to consult on it at any time.



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