Parenting is hard. There is just no way around it. Sometimes it feels like you are wrong no matter what you do as a parent. Get too strict with the kids? They rebel. Be to hands-off and passive? They walk all over you. It seems at times that no matter what we do as parents our kids are going to end up changing their names to "Ace", "Snake", or "Texas Pete", getting a tongue stud and joining the World Series of Poker tour.
When I feel like I am totally messing up my children I like to tune in to ABC on Monday nights and watch an episode of Super Nanny. Super Nanny makes me feel better about myself because no matter how challenging things are with my kids, the families featured on that show are in a completely different universe. There are three key lessons that I have learned over the years of watching Joe, the Super Nanny, verbally berate terrible parents on national television:
1) Husband and wife have to be equally engaged and committed to immediately addressing poor behavior.
2) Consequences for bad behavior need to be swift, severe and consistent.
3) NEVER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, LET YOUR KIDS SLEEP IN YOUR BED!
Fortunately for the Normal Mormon Wife and me, our three kids have always slept in their own rooms. At one time or another both of the two older kids made a push to sleep in our bed. Their excuse was normally "I'm scared" or "I had a nightmare" and then they would ask to spend the night with us. Our response was to lovingly tell them, "No way, Jose!" and then barricade our bedroom door like Mel Gibson did to his home after the aliens invaded in Signs. After a few nights of being rebuffed by their parents, our kids took the hint and trudged back to their bedrooms to face off against Freddy Kruger without the assistance of their callous mom and dad.
We are not the only ones who have struggled with getting our kids to sleep through the night on their own. Agents D, S, JD, TJ, M, A, and JB responded to the mediation post by asking for help with the following issue:
"Now for my dilemma: How do I get my 6-year-old to sleep in his own room despite the fact that he's frightened, driven out by his very noisy 2-year-old sibling, and not tired?"
Alright, these are three separate issues and I can help you out with two of them. You are on your own with handling the noisy 2-year-old because there are just too many variables (e.g. do you have open rooms in your house? How hyper is the 2-year-old? What are their bedtimes, etc.) for me to know where to begin.
The first dilemma is how to help your child overcome his fear of sleeping in his own bedroom. Fortunately for you there is a tried and true method for getting rid of the Boogey Man. All you need to do rent the movie Major Payne, purchase a Glock and do the following:
(And yes, I like the movie Major Payne. I am man enough to admit that I am one of seven people on the planet who find this movie funny. Hilarious, even. Fortunately for me, the Normal Mormon Wife is one of the other seven. Every time I go to Wal-Mart I dive into the $5 DVD bin and hope that I will find a copy of Major Payne. The day it gets lumped into the El Cheapo bin along side every Pauly Shore movie ever made is the day Major Payne enters my DVD library. Does anybody else out there like this movie, or have I just lost any semblance of credibility that I had with you?)
The second issue is how to get your son tired enough so that he falls asleep in a relatively short amount of time. I've got to give credit to our 7-year-old Normal Mormon Boy for coming up with the solution to this one. You see, the NMB took it upon himself about a year ago to start waking up extremely early on Saturday mornings in order to maximize his Play Station time. We limit his "video time" (tv, Play Station, computer) to one hour a day Monday-Friday. On Saturdays, however, we loosen up a bit and let him play the PS2 for a couple of hours. This caused the NMB to start waking himself up at like 6:00 a.m. on Saturdays to play Lego Batman, Lego Indiana Jones and Lego Major Payne for an hour or two before the NMW and I would wake up and begin monitoring how long he had been playing on the PS2. The NMB benefits because he gets much more PS2 time on Saturdays. The unintended benefit for us is that he is a zombie by the time his bedtime rolls around at 8:00. He falls asleep on Saturday nights faster than Grandpa Simpson telling a complicated story.
I think my son inherited this attribute from me because I did the same thing as a kid. I used to wake up early on Saturday mornings so that I could watch the Pac-Man cartoon, Pee Wee's Playhouse and play Wings of Fury on our Apple IIG-S computer. Ah, good times.
The solution, therefore, is to purchase a Play Station and an alarm clock and give your son free reign to play it on Saturday mornings. He'll be plumb tuckered out when it's time to go to bed.
Nothing says "effective parenting" like pistols and Play Stations. Oh, well. I'm still doing a better job than most of the dads who end up on Super Nanny.
Somebody get the "M-V-P" chant going for me....
Like the site? Husband Hero helps make it possible.