This is kind of a vent post, a “please tell me others are experiencing this as well” post, and a HELP! post all rolled into one. Monkey has been sick for the last few days (nothing serious – just runny nose, slight fever) and his sleep? Has just fallen apart over the last couple of weeks. It is HELL to get him to go to bed at night lately and he is not getting enough overnight sleep (typically 8-9.5 hours). So he is way overtired and is acting out like crazy. I know part of it is normal for his age, but I think a big part of it is that he is just plain tired. He hits us, throws things at us, yells at us and is just a little terror in general for the better part of most days lately. It hurts physically and it hurts my feelings. Since I’m pregnant, I have a hard time keeping my emotions in check during these altercations and I either cry or am kind of mean back to him. I don’t want to do either of these things. I want to be the calm, rational parent who is in control of the situation. I’m so not (and DW isn’t really either, though she does better than I do these days).
We are on the AP side of the the parenting fence for the most part, so we haven’t done time outs and the like. Honestly, Monkey is such an intense kid I don’t think time outs would work with him. When he is in the midst of one of these episodes, he’s manic and upset and nothing you can say gets through – it would just be an epic battle. I find that what seems to work best is the old distraction game. Like last night, I was trying to get him to lay down and go to sleep. He was refusing, hitting me, getting all crazy. So I looked around the room in desperation and noticed the blinds making a stripey pattern on the ceiling. I pointed it out, “Look! Let’s lay down and look at the stripes.” Totally worked! We laid down together and looked and talked about the stripes and I even got hugs and kisses from the boy who two seconds earlier was beating me about the head. Of course, it didn’t work longer term – it took over an hour to get him to sleep with Mama and Mommy taking turns when it got too ridiculous. But I did learn a new strategy that I hope will work in the future. At least it seemed to help defuse the situation and calm us both down a bit.
So? Are you experiencing this type of behavior as well? If so, how do you handle it?