"A father's contribution to his children is primarily a measure of how much he adores their mother. "

LOVE and LEAD, Even at Bedtime

Question

Good morning,
I need some advice on sleep for my 4 year old. She goes to daycare during the day. They make the children take a 2 hour nap. She does not nap on the weekends. We are struggling during the week to get her to sleep. I can’t really blame her but it is turning into a vicious cycle. She is not falling asleep until 10 or 10:30 during the week so of course she is tired for nap time the next day. We start the bedtime routine around 7 and then read a few books then time for bed. Some nights, I will lay down with her for 15-20 min and then leave her to go to sleep. Typically she plays in bed some and then comes down stairs to say she can’t go to sleep. On the weekends she falls asleep around 8-8:30. I’ve read your opinion about taking off the top of the door and letting her stay up as long as she stays in her room. I’m struggling on what the punishment should be for coming out of the room and recently she is dabbling in getting scared once it gets late. I am worn out...

Answer

Thank your for your dedication to Parentguru.com. I understand your frustration caused by your daughter's sleep routine. You can't change the daycare's daily schedule so you must get your daughter in compliance with your schedule. As in most parenting situations, I encourage you to begin with refocusing your parental attitude, evidenced by, understanding that these bedtime concerns and anxieties are common behaviors for a 4 year old, do not take your daughter's actions too serious, and always remain calm. Also, It is very important to refrain from lying down with your daughter for 15-20 minutes prior to her going to sleep. This may contribute to her retreating downstairs to get more attention from you. I suggest allowing her to look at a book in preparation for sleep instead of playing (with toys) in bed. I would like for you to hold up with the consequences until you refine your parental attitude (frustrations; nightly routine adjustments; etc.) and allowed the changes to set in.

As far as night fears are concerned, that is just par for the course. Due to children's vivid imaginations, they are going to have fears and there is nothing that we as parents can do about it. The last thing a parent want to do is try to rationalize the fear to the child validating the claim that a monster is in the closet. Night fears happen and your daughter will grow out of it.

Continue to LOVE and LEAD your child into adulthood,

Wallace Collins
Certified Leadership Parenting Coach
Collins Parent Coachng, LLC
wcollins49@comcast.net

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