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bedtime chaos(5 Posts)
things have never been particularly easy with my twins but i thought by now (they turn 4 next month) it would be better. however quite a few things are still a total shit-show, in particular bedtime. we used to have a nice routine where we read a couple of books, turned out the light and put on their audiobook, but now as soon as they get into their room it all goes pear-shaped and they start being very silly, shouting, jumping around, climbing (they climb a lot still). when i try to read a book they both start giggling and shouting, one in particular likes to do very loud fake burps which then start the other one off laughing. i've tried just ignoring it, but that ends up in me reading a book, either trying to make myself heard over them or being ignored while they run rings around me. they love books and when i say i'm not going to read they get very upset, but as soon as i give them another chance they start up again! two nights ago i said clearly 'it's bedtime and you need to be in bed and calm, i won't read if you're shouting or jumping around'. i gave them one warning, then the second time, i said that we were finished reading for the night. they both got really upset and cried for about 20 minutes, but i stuck to my guns thinking that this would at least mean that they would get the message... but no, last night was the same shenanigans. i don't want the night to end with everyone in tears, it's stressful and totally exhausting and makes me feel like a shit mum. single parents are told to just 'ignore' bad behaviour but that doesn't work when they get the attention from each other. anyone got any tips?
I had similar with mine, they were great at dropping off without fuss then worked up towards this kind of silliness gradually. They've just turned 4 so similar.
I let them have their mad half hour during Bath and hairdry/pyjamas. Even though it makes life difficult and I'll be honest does nothing for my mood
They share a double bed, I get physically in it between them if necessary. If they're messing too much and won't calm down I get in the bed with the book and give them an ultimatum. Get in the bed now, the story is starting and you'll miss it. I get them under the covers and positioned for snuggles (again, get in and tucked under or I won't start the story, works both ways, haha!)
I've tried a couple of things, I do a bit of deep breathing with them to get them to calm down, this seems to work quite well actually. Tell them to copy me and I just do some nice deep breaths, before the story. Also I've put together a gentle and calm playlist on youtube, old songs like the carpenters or Lewis capaldi that sort of thing. Focus them on something calming. Then I do the book. All the while it's, "you must be calm and quiet or mummy can't read" then actually put the book down mid sentence and stop every time they start to get agitated, which shouldn't be too much by that point hopefully after all the calming methods.
After that I will turn off lights, put on their groclock (which they largely ignore in the mornings, but it helps them at night to recognise its time to sleep) let them listen to a couple of the YouTube songs but this time without looking at the screen. This tends to send them off as long as I choose songs they won't want to sing along to. I don't give them a choice in the songs I put on at this point. Sometimes I separate them by top and tailing them if I think they're a bit too jumpy still. My DH gets back in with them, he loves a bit of a snooze though
I hope some of this helps, my eldest was a nightmare, there was only one of her, I thank my lucky stars for that. However at that point I was determined to get her to fall asleep alone and it just didn't work. We clashed massively for months/years before I finally gave in and decided to just stay with her while she dropped off. She's 7 now and listens to meditation to help her fall asleep without me there.
Thanks Spottysausagedogs, some great ideas there! i will definitely try the deep breathing. i love that yours share a double bed, so sweet! the past few evenings have been slightly calmer (hopefully not jinxing it) but it's good to know that someone else has gone through the same thing - told my mum about it and was told that it was my fault for being 'too soft' with them, which i was not in the mood to hear. anyway, fingers crossed for peaceful evenings for everyone...
Oh your twins sound like mine op, mine turn 4 in December. Bedtime gives me a full nervous breakdown regularly. I've found audio books make them worse. And dp and I leave the room mid story and put the light out when the nonsense starts regardless of how upset it makes them. Feels heartless but with ours it feels like give them an inch they take a mile... With everything. A zero tolerance for noise during story time has gradually worked for us. Lolz at the burping.. I have one that likes to trump on demand, they are nuts.
This is probably not the way to go but with mine (also nearly 4) they get 10 mins of nursery rhymes on my phone right before bed. They get told this is a privilege and if they take too long not listening to me etc then the songs go shorter or none. I bake in about 10 mins of “crazy time” after bath before stories where i just let them get on with going mad and don’t stop them. But if they have faffed and faffed getting in bath or getting ready for story time (taking forever to pick a book, having a fight over the same book etc) I tell them songs are being cut short. It doesn’t always work and about once every 2 weeks they get no songs and that drama is like the world ended! I imagine everyone else having these peaceful bedtimes!
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