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Dealing with a 3 year old Monster

 
 
Gen
 
Reply Sun 27 Apr, 2003 12:29 pm
I have a 3 year old monster. His name is Kevin. This child is fearless, determined, and completely self reliant and independant. With him, no means yes and yes means yes LOL. If its not his idea, he won't do it.

Pain doesn't seem to effect him. He has had some surgeries when he was younger due to a cleft repair, And I feel that those surgeries aided in making his spirit so strong, that its nearly out of control.

There isn't a thing in the world he can't do. And the problem is.. He knows it. At 11 months, he could unlock a door by dragging a chair to the door, standing on the chair and playing with the locks until he had them open. At 18 months he was able to stand on the counter top and by 20 months he was on top of the fridge.

My problem is this... He doesn't sleep. He power-naps. He will nap for about 2-3 hours starting at around 12:30pm in the afternoon, and then he is up for about 6 and then we put him to bed around 11 pm and he will be up by 4am. This child is smart, he can run a console DVD player, The TV, the Surround Sound and a VCR as well as a laser disk Player. Of course we discovered this before the sun is up when he turns on the volume full blast.

The following is a list of things I have tried to help him sleep though the night:

1) cut down his nap. He is insufferable if he doesn't get a full nap. He has such severe attitude problem that neither I nor his 5 year old sister can stand him.

2) no nap. Then he will pass out in the middle of his dinner and refuse to eat. To a child that has feeding problems due to a cleft anyway, well that just doesn't do any good.

3) doctor's advise. Give him Benedryl or children's nighttime cough syrup. Sorry i refuse to drug my child for him to do something that should be natural. Not only that, the last thing I need is for those medications to STOP working when his body builds up an immunity to them.

4) run him ragged. If the day is too busy, he power-naps in the car. At the park, he has fallen asleep on the swing, the merry\go\round and on a bench while he paused to get a drink.

I'm worried about his small stature, if he isn't sleeping enough, he might not be growing enough. I haven't had any sleep studies done on him simply because I felt him too young.

Any ideas? Suggestions? Anything would be appreciated!
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 4,331 • Replies: 17
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Apr, 2003 12:39 pm
What a character! Have you tried to run him ragged AFTER dinner? After you all eat, go to the park if weather permits, or run around in/outside of the house. Do a yoga tape? Or put on some music and dance with him.......
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Apr, 2003 12:47 pm
Wow!

Quick q first -- what is your bedtime routine like?
0 Replies
 
midnight
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Apr, 2003 01:08 pm
hmm. . . . more details would be good. . . . If you have tried all the stuff suggested . . . . like bed time routines, cutting down on the nap, etc. and nothing seems to work. . . . you may be battling against his internal clock. I tend to sleep kind of like he does. Maybe you can set a morning routine for him . . . . . . put a clock with big numbers by his bed. . . . . maybe with multiple alarms. . . . . 4am-5am must be in room (color, build, etc) Maybe you could give him special projects to work on in the mornings in his room and I guess you'd just have to get up and put him back in his room and just keep doing it 'til he got it. He probably enjoys the individual attention time in the mornings and the commotion of getting you worked up. . . . . 5am-6am watch tv (he could have a set of morning movies to watch, etc.) and drink a juice box. . . . 6am. . . Mom gets up (maybe some kind of reward for letting you sleep 'til 6. . . . I know he's a little young now but maybe in 9 or 10 months he'll have the routine down and he'll have an outlet for that independence and you can start pushing mom up time to 7am. This may be completely impractical. . . . its been a few years since I worked with that age group. . . . . good luck!
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Apr, 2003 01:13 pm
The wilds of Africa sounds like a good place for a wild animal......
0 Replies
 
Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Apr, 2003 02:35 pm
Gen--

First, believe me, you will survive this. All the same you and your daughter have my sympathy.

Meanwhile....a few questions:


Is he just-past-three or nearly-four? The older he is, the easier life will be. Does he have his own room? Are there any quiet pursuits he enjoys?

Do not worry about his sleep deprivation. Worry about yours.

Congratulations for not drugging him--or murdering him.
0 Replies
 
Montana
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Apr, 2003 03:15 pm
You already tried everything I was going to suggest, but I do feel for you for sure as when my son was that age his daytime naps interfered with his night time sleeping. In my case it turn out that my son is a night person just like I am and his clock runs at night. He's now going to be 16 in 2 months and he's still a night owl. My mother had the same problem with me when I was young and to this day I'm still a night owl.
I know that's not what you want to hear, but I thought it was worth mentioning.

The best of luck to you.
0 Replies
 
Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Apr, 2003 10:51 am
Gen--

How's it going?

This thread has some thoughts which might be helpful:

http://www.able2know.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=190910#190910

Remember, eventually, Kevin will be four.
0 Replies
 
Algis Kemezys
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Apr, 2003 01:32 pm
I just saw a program on how the outer most tolerance level of any human is 30 minutes when dealing with a whiney child. It is at this point that the parent, adult, babysitter must take at least 15 minutes off from being with the child, otherwise the parent might shake the child and injure it's neck or give it some other horrible malady.These are the proven responses and injuries that follow.A low tolerence person is 15 minutes max.
0 Replies
 
Gen
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 May, 2003 10:52 am
Wow you guys thanks!

Quote:
Have you tried to run him ragged AFTER dinner?


Daddy gets home from work at around 8:30 at night. He misses the kids so baddly when he works, that we have dinner around 8:45 pm, with all of us together. Unfortunately, at 8:30 at night there aren't any parks open, so what we do is we have the kids footrace from one end of the house to the other. We have them do laps to see how many times they can do it, and we time them. It has done nothing but wind him up even tighter so hes harder to get to go down.

Quote:
Quick q first -- what is your bedtime routine like?


Dinner, playtime with daddy, then teeth, a book with them in their beds and then lights off.

Quote:
Maybe you can set a morning routine for him . . . . . . put a clock with big numbers by his bed. . . . . maybe with multiple alarms. . . . .


He's just turned 3 on april 4th. I dont think he can handle the abstract image of a clock corralating to an actual time of day. Its a great idea though for my 5 year old who is learning how to tell time!

Quote:
The wilds of Africa sounds like a good place for a wild animal......


LOL Yeah, tell me about it!

Quote:
Is he just-past-three or nearly-four? The older he is, the easier life will be. Does he have his own room? Are there any quiet pursuits he enjoys?

Well he has to share a room with his sister. we only have a 2 bedroom place right now. He turned 3 on april forth, so he is just turned 2. He likes his blocks, and he likes his trucks, expecially of he can bang them into things. One quiet morning I woke up with butterknives in the heater's floor vents. Daddy had forgotten to lock the silverware drawer that evening.

Quote:
I just saw a program on how the outer most tolerance level of any human is 30 minutes when dealing with a whiney child. It is at this point that the parent, adult, babysitter must take at least 15 minutes off from being with the child, otherwise the parent might shake the child and injure it's neck or give it some other horrible malady.These are the proven responses and injuries that follow.A low tolerence person is 15 minutes max


Well, hes not whiney. Hes very happy and cheerful. Hes just also very determined and self reliant.

On a tad bit of an update, he started head start this week. Hes in the afternoon class from 1-4:30 pm. So hes getting ran ragged and falling asleep by 6. I've been trying to do 2 dinners, one for him and one for the rest of us. Simply because hes so tired at meal times. And because he has no ability to sleep in.

Well lately I have been having my 5 year old work with him just a little more, playing more with him, playing games with him ect and hes staying up a little later, and then he has been getting up on his own around 7 the last 2 days. So hopefully this is gonna work out afterall.

Its just takeing some trial and error to get it work itself out.

Thanks for all the help you guys!
0 Replies
 
Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 May, 2003 01:27 pm
Gen--

I'm glad that your life in the zoo is settling down to a dull roar. Believe me, day by day, week by week, month by month life will get easier.

Meanwhile, Head Start gives you a bit of a break.

Keep us posted. We care.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 May, 2003 04:31 pm
Hi Gen,

A few random ideas:

You say that he wakes up at 4:00 am. He obviously needs more sleep, so I think this is an area to work on. This could conceivably be considered early morning, but that's only 5 hours of sleep overnight -- not nearly enough. To put it in perspective, if he were going to bed at 8 and waking up at 1:00 a.m., that would clearly be "the middle of the night", and the focus would be on getting him back to sleep.

Noddy posted a link earlier to another discussion here on A2K on how to work on that, getting a child to go back to sleep after a night waking.

A point from that discussion that I'd like to reiterate is that all kids (and adults) wake up at various times during the night, it's just what happens then. Do they roll over and go back to sleep, with no memory of waking up? Or do they wrench themselves to full consciousness with the promise of fun and games and mommy time?

My daughter is 2.5, and recently has been making a move toward giving up naps. Something that happened simultaneously is that she will wake up about an hour into her nap, awake but very sad. Before that, she would wake up after about a two-hour nap, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. She had a period (seems to be coming out of this) of waking up after 45 minutes or an hour, complainy and clingy and saying she wanted to go back to sleep. I had to rub her back, or sing to her, or just reassure her that it's OK to go back to sleep, and she did.

I'm just wondering if something similar is going on with your son, in terms of "waking up" but not really being ready for it, as a change from when he used to wake up when he was ready.

The other thing that is going on with the sozlet's move toward giving up naps is that she seems to have one of two patterns, now -- sleeping 11 hrs + overnight, then no nap, or sleeping around 9 hours, with a 2+ hr nap. Perhaps if you could get your son to stay asleep for a big chunk, pulling out all the stops, he would then not nap at all the next day, then go to bed earlier, and very tired, and sleep longer... We definitely have had some juggling of schedules as naps start to go by the wayside, and have settled into the 11 or 9+2 pattern only recently.

Is there anything that reliably gets him to sleep, so you can try to tweak the schedules? For example, if my daughter is sleepy, a ride in the car will get her to sleep in 5 minutes or 20, but it will get her to sleep, guaranteed. I sometimes use that if things are getting a little out of whack. Usually I have to add an hour the next day for when she will nap without the car. Like, if I want her to nap at home at 2 on Wednesday, I wake her up early on Tuesday, and get her in the car when she is sleepy at 12:45 with the expectation that she'll be asleep by 1.

Not saying it always works, but it's a useful tool.

Good luck!
0 Replies
 
Gen
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 May, 2003 06:20 pm
Kev is NOT that schedualed. I wish he were!
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 May, 2003 06:35 pm
I think kids really benefit from some structure and routine, so perhaps that's worth pursuing? The schedule that the sozlet is on, such as it is (it has more to do with total hours than bedtime/ wakeup time) is mostly her own preference, shaped a bit by us.

Hope things are better now! Much sympathy and good wishes.
0 Replies
 
celticclover
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 May, 2003 06:59 pm
I had a monster like this....he is 7 now and I figured that he needed to be more physically active...moved him to a farm and let him roam the paddocks. I gave him a set bed time, even if he didnt sleep he had to stay in there, I didnt mind if he read books or drew pictures.
Now he gets up at 4am just to let the cat in, then he goes back to bed with the cat and stays asleep til about 7am.

Physical Activity and a pet might make a difference....
0 Replies
 
celticclover
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 May, 2003 07:05 pm
Whatever you do, dont let a Dr try and convince you he needs medicine, some kids are quiet and some kids can put a fire engine to shame. Some people think its a good idea to give active children drugs and as a result the 9 year old neighbour is a legal druggie.
Kevin sounds really intelligent, and as my mother would say..'There are no flies on that boy'
0 Replies
 
Gen
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 May, 2003 01:13 pm
Soz,

Quote:
I think kids really benefit from some structure and routine, so perhaps that's worth pursuing? The schedule that the sozlet is on, such as it is (it has more to do with total hours than bedtime/ wakeup time) is mostly her own preference, shaped a bit by us.


It isn't for lack of trying! I assure you that! Its just that he doesn't much care. He acts kinda like its beneith him...

Celticclover,

Quote:
I had a monster like this....he is 7 now and I figured that he needed to be more physically active...moved him to a farm and let him roam the paddocks. I gave him a set bed time, even if he didnt sleep he had to stay in there, I didnt mind if he read books or drew pictures.
Now he gets up at 4am just to let the cat in, then he goes back to bed with the cat and stays asleep til about 7am.

Physical Activity and a pet might make a difference....


I wish we could afford to move ot a ranch or a farm. I would love to have horses, and my husband wants cattle. However financially its not in the cards for at least another 10-15 years.

As for a pet, where we live isn't conclusive to a pet. Its a tiny trailer park and we have no yard. We have tons of outside birds and cats, but only the birds we feed and he loves to watch them.

However I can have a flower - pot garden, so that is what we are working on now and that seems to keep him busy.

Thanks for all the suggestions Guys!
0 Replies
 
Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 May, 2003 03:23 pm
Hang in there, Gen. Remember, down the road--grandchildren and sweet revenge!

Hold your dominion.
0 Replies
 
 

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