Parenting

Late Night Musings of a Mother

It’s 11:30pm now as I write this post. I’m so heartbroken, and thus I couldn’t sleep. I’ve been struggling with Little Edison’s bad behaviours for the past two nights.

I’m exhausted, rundown and I’m lost.

When bedtime came, he refused to go to sleep. He wanted to play with the helper. So, I gave him another ten minutes allowance to play. After that, he wanted to read story books with me. I took a deep breath and I tried to be patient with him. So, we spent another 15 minutes reading story books.

The clock struck ten, I asked him to go to sleep (again). Now, he wanted to read flash cards. He took out the flash cards from the cabinet. I was so mad when he ignored my request for the third time. I put the flash cards on his bed, asked him to read on his own and I walked out of the room. He started crying when I ignored him.

Five minutes later, he cried even louder and screamed. I pulled him out of the room and asked him to stand at the main door. I opened the door and asked him to continue to cry and scream as loud as he can. And I threaten to call the security guards if the neighbors complain about his noise.

With a harsh voice full of anger, I scolded him. I tried to refrain myself from spanking him. My patience level reached its maximum, and I felt that things are getting out of control. I don’t know how to discipline my own son. For a moment, I felt so sad and useless.

When his crying episode finally ended, he was so tired and sleepy. I carried him and pat him on his back. He leaned on my shoulder and fell asleep. I put him on his bed, and I looked at him. His face was red and his eyes were teary. I was so heartbroken.

What is wrong with him? Why doesn’t he listen to me? I love him so dearly, but he pushed me over the edge and made me feel completely out of resources to deal with his misbehavior.

Sigh.

Deep in my heart, I know that he isn’t bad. He is just playful. At this age, he is at a developmental stage of experimenting with ideas about rules and boundaries. I tried to console myself.

I need a good parenting book on how to deal with discipline and kids. I desperately need a new perspective before I turn my house into a crazy circus show!

 

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8 Comments

  • Reply
    grace
    July 28, 2010 at 1:01 AM

    heys! don’t worry…it’s normal for toddlers to push their limits. my lil girl does that too, often, actually.
    But what i usually do is to stand firm on my expectations/rules. I’ll usually give a firm ‘No’, after which i’ll usually expect her to start jumping angrily or burst out in tears. We’ll always give her a hug in the midst of her tears, but refuse to give in. So we usually stay put until she gets over it. it’s a lil unbearable, but the long term benefits are worth it. She knows mummy means it and won’t change her mind, eventually after a few times she’ll know what to do, tho she still will challenge the rules at times. As much as i can, i try to resist using threats or any emotional traps.
    I learn quite some of the principles from Charlotte Mason which i can’t find the link for now. Hope this helps in anyway. 🙂

  • Reply
    tona-mama
    July 28, 2010 at 2:11 AM

    Hi Emily,

    My heart goes out to you and I really understand how you feel. I have a very active, playful and mischievous boy too. Not only that, he loves to challenge my authority and constantly pushes my patience. Not that I have a lot to start with.

    The past weeks, almost a month now, has been HELL for me! Like you, I’ve tried all ways but to no avail. At bad time, usually nearer the end of the day, I feel like crying when he does things against my wishes/instructions cos I really can’t take another ‘nonsense’ from him already.

    Then, I found this book which I had bought but forgotten about it. It is “Whispers of Wisdom for Mothers of Preschoolers”.

    http://www.familychristian.com/shop/product.asp?prodID=77437

    Frankly, these days, I do not even have much time to read but the moment I opened up this book, I was just attracted to it and continued to squeeze time to read it.

    The daily devotion really lifted me and like what everyone says, The Bible is the best parenting book we can have. Everything we want or need in life, is in The Bible.

    Somehow, God’s words are always comforting and perhaps, sometimes we expect too much from ourselves. I’m almost halfway and I only started last week. But just a few days of reading has really made me feel loads better.

    I wouldn’t say I’ve gained a truck of patience or buckets of wisdom, but at least, he is more co-operative. Not fully there yet but compared to the last few weeks, he is much better. Well, I’m not there myself too. 🙂

    I’ve wanted to share this book in my blog but havent got the time to get round to do it.

    There was this devotional entry that really touched me :-

    “Rules were made to be broken” – Our young children prove this concept all the time. However, their breaking the rules is sometimes innocent curiosity rather than intentional disregard for our instruction.

    The rules we set in place – like not walking across the street w/o an adult, not touching hot stove – are not meant to make our children miserable. Instead, they’re meant to do the exact opposite : keep our children safe and happy.

    Not surprisingly, God has similar rules and expectations for us as adults. Altho we may not understand why the rules are in place, we know that God, as a loving Father, means them for our good, to keep us safe and happy.

    As you walk with the Lord today, remember that God is watching you and leading you in the way you should go. And, if by chance, you should slip and fall into disobedience – whether intentional or unintentional – He is waiting to forgive you and help you start over again, ready to fill your life with Blessings as you walk in His will and His way.”

    I realised that Kimi was acting up cos he was having stress going back to school cos his separation anxiety is very very high. He just wants to stick by my hips ALL day.

    Don’t despair, continue to pray for Ed’s obedience and ask God for wisdom to overcome your situation.

    God Bless!

  • Reply
    Jacie
    July 28, 2010 at 8:45 AM

    I’m a mum too of two little boys.

    I believe the key is consistency. We have an established bed-time routine that never deviates. Pyjamas at 6pm. Warm milk at 6.30. Toilet and bed at 7pm. Although they don’t like going to bed, they understand our expectations of them and realise that the routine is not going to change.

    I know you want to encourage Edison, because he’s wonderfully curious and interested in everything, but he needs his sleep. Getting him into a routine will be painful at first (he will cry, he will shout) but I’m confident that, within a week (which is how long it took for us with our boys) things will calm down if you decide on a routine and stick to it no matter what (unless he’s unwell of course).

    And don’t beat yourself up about feeling depleted / lost. We all feel that way. There’s no mum that is 100% on top of things 100% of the time. You’re human with flaws, just like Little Edison is a human with many (very cute, I should mention) flaws.

    Draw a line under the events of today and start afresh.

  • Reply
    mico
    July 28, 2010 at 10:22 AM

    We have good days and bad days with our 3 yo..sometimes my girl drives me up the wall too. and i always feel bad if i shouted at her and she cried, so i have since stop yelling or harsh to her like pull her out from room and stuff like that.. i try to talk to her instead like to an adult.. after awhile it helps now she dun cry whenever i prohibit her from doing somehing but she will instead reason with me.. which to me, is an improvement than all the yelling and crying.. it’s again, just another stage for them and also us .. perservere and keep cool ya !

    • Reply
      Emily
      July 28, 2010 at 11:18 AM

      I want to thank all of you for your wonderful comments. I’m touched and deeply encouraged by your words of support.

      Hi Mico,
      I used to spank Edison too, but I’ve stopped doing that. Sometimes, in moments of anger, I will yell at him or even do something harsh to him. After that, I feel really bad about myself. I really need to maintain my calmness. Thanks for pointing this out – I will try to talk to him like an adult.

      Hi Jacie,
      We do have regular bedtime routine. In fact, he goes to sleep at 9:30pm every night. But something went really wrong this week. Suddenly, he became hyper-active and refused to go to sleep. I asked my helper about his afternoon nap. Nothing has changed, he took only one hour of nap after school. I hope he will go back to normal very soon. And yes! I told myself to draw a line and start afresh today. Thanks.

      Hi Tona-mama,
      Thanks for your recommendation of the book. I’ll check it out at the library when I have time. Sometimes, we really need a good parenting book to put us back on track. It’s like a map when we are lost. In addition, thanks for pointing out on the issue of stress at school. It may be the root cause and I need to find out.

      Hi Grace,
      Thanks for your advise. I fully agree on the hugging part. When the ‘war’ is over, I will give him a big hug and explain to him why he was wrong. Lastly, I’ll tell him that I love him because he is a good boy who will always listen to Mommy. Sometimes, he will apologize to me. And I’m deeply touched!

  • Reply
    Rachel
    July 29, 2010 at 12:17 PM

    hi, it’s really a passing phase. my 3.5yo did exactly what Edison did few months back.
    during that period, i even had to raise my voice or threaten to take out the cane just to get her to shower. she slept at 1130pm at times, even midnight once ot twice. she refused to wake up for sch the next morning because she slept late the previous night. so she cries every morning when i had to drag her to sch. by dinner time, she’s tired so she’s gets cranky, sometimes refuse dinner. then there’ll be another round of scolding and crying. & the vicous cycle continues everyday… it’s all messed up. i asked her teachers abt her routine and her behaviour. they said their routine/schedule has not changed.
    what i did was to tell her teachers to let her run/jump more, basically to wear her out during the day. at night, i brought her to bed earlier. instead of the usual 915-930pm to start her bedtime routine, i bring forward everything, say 9pm, even 845pm. so that she has more time to dilly dally yet she can still fall asleep by her usual 945-10pm. i also try to refrain her from watching tv after her usual cartoon at night.
    it’s frustrating. it’s energy zapping. but pls hang in there. it’s a passing phase.

    • Reply
      Emily
      July 29, 2010 at 1:13 PM

      Hi Rachel,
      Thanks for sharing your experience. I really hope that this vicious cycle will end soon, cos it’s really energy zapping. My panda eyes are getting severe this week. Haiz.

      Edison also refused to wake up in the morning to go to school because of sleeping late. When he is still sleepy in the morning, he will fuss a lot and reject his breakfast. This is the main problem. If he doesn’t eat, I’m worried that he will go hungry at school.

      I think it’s getting slightly better now. Sunday night was 11:45pm, Monday night 11:30pm, Tuesday night around 11:00pm and last night 10:45pm.

      Hopefully, tonight he will go to bed at 10:30pm!

  • Reply
    Rachel
    July 29, 2010 at 2:00 PM

    yap yap. it will improve gradually. these days she sleeps at 10, sometimes earlier. 🙂
    jia you!

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