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would you punish or just accept that this is inevitable and turn a blind eye, as it were ?

(17 Posts)
sparkle1977 Thu 04-Aug-11 12:39:42

I have two DS's who are 3 and 4 and share a bedroom.

Me and DH are getting ourselves stressed out night after night because the DCs play us up something chronic at bedtime, almost every night.

We put them to bed about 7 - 7.30, they then play around, run about, pull mattresses off their beds to use as slides, empty all the toys out that are in their room (not very many anyway), etc etc. This goes on until at least 8.30 if not 9pm when they finally go to sleep.

Now me and DH have been getting really fed up and take it in turns to go up and battle the DSs back into bed and this goes on and on. We have punished them sometimes the next day by them not getting treats, taking favourite toys away for a time etc etc.

However I am just thinking whether we are just making hard work for ourselves and whether we should just learn to accept that their young ages and the fact they sleep in the same room makes this kind of thing inevitable and just turn a blind eye as it were ??? WWYD ?

I am hoping that come September when DS1 will start primary and DS2 will start pre-school that this will tire them out more so this behaviour will lessen.

Octaviapink Thu 04-Aug-11 13:31:29

I'd leave it till 8.30 and then go up, otherwise you're just making work for yourselves. Alternatively they need to do more in the day as they've clearly still got energy to burn at bedtime!

p99gmb Thu 04-Aug-11 14:46:41

we've just had a very similar situation with our two - they share a bedroom and the younger one (2.4) has just moved into a toddler bed.

Never been fitter going up and down the stairs!!!

So last week we decided enough was enough and we now put the younger one down in our bed - divide and rule!!!

When its our bed time we move him back (and also sit him on the potty) so at least he wakes up in his own room and they can play quite happily whilst we have a cup of tea prepare breakfast.

It has worked brilliantly!!!

sparkle1977 Thu 04-Aug-11 15:40:34

We do try our best to tire them out in the day but it usually backfires, either we go out somewhere and they will then be so knackered they will sleep in the car for a little bit on the way back or alternatively will sneak a crafty kip on sofa whilst I am busy making tea! Even after a full day at nursery they are still raring to go.....! Its like a switch comes on at about 6.45pm and they ping into action.

Thought about the idea of separating them but we don't really want to do this plus I really think that if I just put them in separate rooms they will just be forever traipsing across the landing to one another.

p99gmb - You are very lucky that your youngest stays put in your bed, I have no doubts at all that mine would not.

TanteRose Thu 04-Aug-11 15:45:28

erm, why don't you just put them to bed at 8:30?

or rather than giving out punishments, try giving rewards/star chart for staying in bed etc.

am sure that when school starts, they will be ready for bed earlier - school is very tiring!

Blu Thu 04-Aug-11 15:47:24

Punishing them the next day is too remote for 3 year olds.

I would work the other way: the first one to settle down quietly and not get out of bed gets a big coloured bead in a jar merked clearly with their name. Each jar has a line 3/4 of the way up saying 'special prize' and the one who fills the jar to that level first gets something much desired. At the moment they are working together against you. In this system they are on competition to be the one who best carries out the good behaviour.

Not quite sure how you go on and fill the jar without disturbing them...

p99gmb Thu 04-Aug-11 15:51:01

we have stairgates on the doors... they are just too young to be 'free' on the landing...

we also have a super blackout blind

I do my uptmost not to let them sleep after 3pm.. they'll be more ready to go back down..

is this the mad hour before bed that they all have? Do you do a bath/shower at bed to wind them down?

startail Thu 04-Aug-11 15:57:33

Yes stick them in bed later and then be firm. They should get the message as the evenings get darker.
School may tire them out, but don't hold your breath. Various people told me this and I'm still waiting - DDs are 10 and 13smile

Poogles Thu 04-Aug-11 16:01:06

We have had a similar thing with our 2 DS (5 & 3). They share a room and used to go to bed lovely most nights but recently were a nightmare every night. We have since started putting DS2 up to bed about half an hour earlier than his brother (used to be both at 7.30 now 7.15 & 7.45). DS2 is either asleep or so chilled that he doesn't bother his brother when DS1 goes up. DS1 doesn't cause any trouble as he has been told he is being treated like a big boy and will lose that if he wakes his brother up. Has been working for the last few weeks for us so maybe worth a try?

<<hopes she hasn't just cursed bedtime for herself!>>

sparkle1977 Thu 04-Aug-11 16:22:31

pp99gmb - I don't want to do stairgates on their door as they are both now toilet trained and often come out of their room to use the loo.

poogles - We have tried staggering their bedtimes with DS2 going up at 7 and DS1 going up about 30 - 45 mins later. The problem we found with that is that its DS2 who seems to be awake till later and is the instigator of most of these fun and games. So he was simply staying in bed but staying awake until DS1 came up!
We could switch it round but we felt that putting our oldest to bed first would be mean and he would wonder why as the oldest he was going to bed first ?

startail - pleeeeeease don't say that......I need them to sleeeep..

I think I have to face facts, I am doomed forever more.

I think I will try a later bedtime of about 7.45 plus rewards for being first to settle down as suggested. I live in hope.

2kidsintow Thu 04-Aug-11 17:29:16

You haven't said what your bedtime routine is like.
If my two DDs just brush their teeth and then get into bed, they can take forever to settle and will get up and mess about etc. Late summer nights don't help either.

I'd try
1. a slightly later bedtime.
2. packing away all toys and reminding them that playtime is over and it is time to go to bed.
2. part of the bedtime routine being something that helps calm them down. Bath....teeth....a story. It can be a pain to always have to sit and read a story if you are very busy, but it can really calm them. My 2 DDs love cuddling up to me while we share a story or two before bed and it really does help settle them.
3. Pop back up a little after they've gone to bed and praise them if they are in bed. If they aren't, tuck them back in with the reminder that it is bed time.

Good luck. Personally, my girls are in separate rooms because they sleep far better that way. There can be a little popping into each others rooms, but not that often. Also, I invested in a set of stories on tape/cd a while ago and they listen to something as they settle. It really helps

JustKeepSwimming Thu 04-Aug-11 17:35:46

My 2 share and sometimes we have the fun & games you describe, i normally leave it (if they are staying in their room) until 8/8.30 when i get tough.

We often go for a walk/scoot round the block after tea, esp in summer, to use up that last bit of energy (and kill time in the witching hour!).

Plus what others have said about bath & story & not napping late in the day.

I think you may have to limit what they have to play with in their bedroom though, nothing noisy for a start.
Also i would object to the bed dismantling so would get cross about that.

I started saying they could 'play quietly & nicely' for a bit if they weren't tired and they seem ok with that, normally i say it means staying in bed not just the room, ie no leaping off beds/emptying the bookcase/etc.

mymumdom Thu 04-Aug-11 17:39:55

bedtime CD? We got some kids relaxation CD's from amazon, and play one every night. All we ask is they lie down and listen to the story until it's finished. They are asleep by the end!

JarethTheGoblinKing Thu 04-Aug-11 17:47:00

What do you do when they pull the mattresses off their beds and start mucking about?

SarkySpanner Thu 04-Aug-11 17:53:22

Agree that 'punishments' need to be immediate.

Personally I wouldn't put up with this nonsense. If either of my boys gets out of bed for no reason or makes noise after bedtime then they lose one if their cuddly bed toys. The get them back once they've been quiet in bed for 10 mins.

<mean mummy>

bytheMoonlight Thu 04-Aug-11 17:54:19

I had a similar problem with dd1 keep getting in and out of bed. Punishments and going up and down the stairs like a lunatic didn't work so I went with incentive.

I bought a Winnie The Poo memo board from the 99p shop and every night she stays in bed without getting out once she gets a star drawn on it - 7 stars mean a smiley face and a present!!!

In reality the present is very small, a magazine, pack of balloons, some stickers, puzzle from the charity shop - but she is thrilled to wake up and find her reward on her bedside cabinet and since we stsrted (4 wks ago) there has only been one night where she didn't earn a star.

JarethTheGoblinKing Thu 04-Aug-11 17:58:02

Agree with Sarky.

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