Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Bedtime doesn't have to be a power struggle?
My littlest angel didn't want to go to sleep tonight. After an hour and a half of telling her to go to bed, placing her gently in her bed, and yelling at my poor, sweet hubby to help me put her into bed, I was beginning to think she was going to pull an all nighter. Finally, after putting her into bed for the LAST time, and hearing her sweet little cries, I lifted her into my arms, carried her to the couch, and sang/rocked her to sleep. 5 minutes! and she was out. Then something clicked. I can't stand to hear my children cry and hate to see them upset about anything. The thing is, MOST of the time all they need is me. Yes I was tired, and I wanted to relax, and I wanted to watch TV, and I wanted to play on the computer...see a theme here? I was putting what I wanted before what she needed. I was the one making this into a power struggle, not her. She knew what she needed, but I wasn't listening. I would say that most, if not all, power struggles can be avoided if we (the adults) will put our children first and try to figure out what it is that they're in need of. 5 minutes! Seriously?! 5 minutes was all she needed of me at that time. We, as adults, feel the need to unwind after a long day so why would we think that our children would be any different? 5 minutes! Oh, I felt so selfish and guilty. I know my littles sleep better after some quality cuddle time, so why on earth didn't it occur to me sooner? So, yes, grace extends to bedtime. And this gentle mom-in-training is still learning. Thank you, God for using my sweet babies to teach me something new. Now, I can relax and unwind.