I'm sitting at my computer listening to hear if my son will come out of his bedroom again. He's already lost his television time tomorrow, but his inability to sleep tonight that we need to re-think his afternoon nap again.
We thought he was ready to give up his afternoon nap, but after a few days without, it became apparent that he still needed it. Actually, what he probably needs is a twenty minute power nap each day, but once he goes to sleep, he sleeps for ninety minutes to two hours. Trying to wake him earlier than that is such a bad idea I wince to think about it.
Waking is a big, near impossible transition for my son. He's better these days than he used to be, but waking him before he's ready is a surefire recipe for a physical throw-down tantrum, the only time he has one. I have resorted to googling this before now, trying to figure out the why of it, but all I've found are a few other mothers reporting similar issues and saying that their child outgrew it.
Anyway, to avoid the tantrum situation, we don't wake him if we can help it. Instead, we're trying to figure out how often a week he needs a nap. If he doesn't get enough sleep, his behaviour deteriorates. If he gets too much, he can't sleep at night. So far, we've established that twice a week is too little, every other day, too much. Onto every three days then? Obviously, the stimulation he receives during the day makes a difference too, but I think we're just going to be making this up as we go along for a few months until he's genuinely able to give up his nap.
One plus: I followed Confessions of a Montessori Mom's advice and started getting him dressed as soon as he got up in the morning, which has helped mitigate some of the behavioural issues as well as encouraging him to get control of himself when he first wakes up. It took a few days, but now he is accustomed to it, and it's saved us a bunch of time in the morning (as opposed to getting him dressed right before he goes to school).
Meanwhile, my daughter's behaviour has improved markedly since she started walking. She's too busy exploring her new horizons to misbehave. With one notable exception: running away. My son was never much of a runaway. He did a bit of it, but mostly he was happy to stick close to me, and considering how clingy my daughter has been all her life, I fondly imagined that she would be the same way.
Yeah, not so much. One of her favourite games now is to wait until I say: "This way!" She then proceeds to give me a big beaming smile and run (well, toddle as fast as she can) in another direction. The best part is apparently when I sprint after her and scoop her up, earning a delighted chuckle.
For now, it's not a problem, because she's still pretty easy to catch, but that won't always be the case, so I'm trying to nip this in the bud now. Ignoring her is obviously not an issue, so I'm switching back to the consequences without anger style of discipline. I restrict her movements, but I don't give her a big reaction.
One of the best places for doing this is actually the supermarket. I've most often heard that shopping is best done without the kids on foot, but I have the luxury of being able to go, just me and my daughter, at midmorning when it's fairly quiet. In a busy store, with me supervising both children, this isn't really feasible.
But this morning, I took my daughter grocery shopping letting her walk. Every time she ignored my instructions, I said "No", and put her in the trolley. After a minute or so, I let her out and we would try again. One thing I did learn was that she was happier when she could carry something, like a jar of peanut butter, although eventually she'd lose interest and drop it. I also learned that while I could remain impassive as I bore her back to the trolley, other shoppers would undermine my efforts by cooing over her. Ah, well. I can't really blame them when she is clearly the most adorable baby ever.
Anyway, a work in progress, but I'd hate to have to get reins for her. One thing I am going to have to work on is being closer to her when I can tell she's going to make a break for it, so it doesn't turn into the chase that she loves so much. I am also trying to dial the tolerance down to zero. I want to give her the chance to comply, but this kind of thing is too big a risk to let her think she can push the limits.
This evening, I grabbed her as she made a dash for the road, and that got me physically turning her face towards mine and talking seriously to her. That is giving her a reaction, but I think it might be better to do so for that. Instilling road safety is another difficult issue... I've just got to find the balance.