Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Training Charles

Well, as I mentioned before we switched Charles to a toddler bed about a month ago. The first couple of weeks he did so good! He went to bed fine and when he woke up he stayed in bed and called for me and wouldn't come out until I went in to get him. Well, things have changed. He no longer likes to stay in bed. He doesn't want to sleep, ever. I tried giving him options: you can stay in your bed with your door closed or open, with your fan on or off, with blankets or not etc. so that he felt like he still had some control, but it didn't help much. He would make a choice and then after a few minutes would disregard everything that was said and would just come out anyways. I needed to figure something out because it's very hard for me to handle going through an entire day without one single minute of alone time.

I asked Scott if we could put a lock on his door, and we were going to but then I remembered we had 2 special child proof door knobs that were much harder for the kids to open. You see awhile ago I took most of the child proof door knobs off because they were pointless; the kids could easily open the door with them on. Those were the ones we bought from Target. But while we were living in Washington I bought a couple that were a little more expensive from a child specialty store and they are quite a bit more difficult to get open...though they have managed it a couple of times. So I put the child proof door knob on just before his nap and told him that I had done so but that if he'd stay in his room we could leave the door open and if he came out then the door would be shut and he wouldn't be able to get out because of the child proof knob. He disagreed and said, "Mommy, if you take me in my bed then I will just open the door and come out."
"Okay, go ahead and try."
We walked down to his room, he climbed in bed, I sang to him and gave him kisses, did everything just the same but left his door open. He came out. So I said, "oh sorry bud, I guess we need to keep the door shut." And I brought him back to his bed. Well he wasn't upset at all because he was completely confident in his ability to open the door even with the special child proof knob. Once I shut the door I sat on the floor just outside so that I could hold it closed in case he did get it to twist and open. I pulled out my book and started reading. Within a couple of minutes I could hear him get out of bed and walk over to the door. He tried to open it. He tried again. He started to get frustrated but kept trying. One time he nearly got it open so I quickly put my hand on the knob so that he couldn't twist it again. After a few minutes of trying he gave up and resorted to laying on the floor and kicking the door. After probably 5 minutes of this he stopped and got busy doing other things in his room, playing with toys etc.

I sat outside his door two times but since then I haven't had to because he thinks he can't open it. He doesn't always go to sleep, and if he does, sometimes it's not in his bed but that's okay with me.(this picture was taken around 9pm...we open his door once he's fallen asleep, which means we usually have a little boy wandering the house in the morning but he's been pretty responsible, well as responsible as a 2 year old boy can be, about his morning activities so we'll let this continue unless in the future we feel the need for a change), He cried a little the first 2 days, but now he's content in there, playing with his toys or resting, and I get a little bit of much needed alone time. Though I wish he would still sleep everyday because when he doesn't he sure is cranky come 4:00. Now that we've done this for several days, when I give him the option to have his door open or closed, he still picks open but now he usually stays because he knows that if he comes out of his room then it'll be closed.


Jamie said...

I am totally prolonging liam being in his crib because I do not want to deal with this. Penny was so easy and obedient, but I KNOW that liam will be Mr. Crazy. We are planning on doing the whole put a gate up to block his getting out. (he never tries to climb) and then putiing him back in his bed over and over and over and over. I guess that's what Super nanny does. Books that we like say to do that to, but I don't have any confidence in this whatsoever. But I should probably do it before the baby comes so that it doesn't make me crazy, right?

Cristin said...

I am glad you are having success with this. The few times we have tried with Luke have made me very discouraged. I think he will stay in the crib (with the tent) forever. He is also able to get through some door handle locks. Maybe I will try that kind.

Stacie said...

Way to go Elisa. Smart thinking. I have a friend with a very persistent three-year-old. They had to put a lock on the outside of his door. His room is almost completely empty of toys and things, and somehow he managed to find some small piece of something to stick in the lock and unlock the door from the inside! They've nicknamed him McGyver! Let's hope you don't have one of those on your hands!

carrie r. said...

Georgia was doing the same thing after we moved her out of the crib, and the child-proof door knob was the only thing that worked for us and gave me back my sanity. I'm glad this is working for you too!

berrymom said...

We have very similar struggles with Nicholas. My problem is that he shares a room with Thomas. Thomas doesn't like the door closed, and he is good and stays in bed, so I don't feel like it is fair for him to have it closed. We are working through it. I am glad the door handle cover is working for you.

Maryann said...

That is a hard thing to go through and each child is different... I can't even remember how we handled it. Some how we made it through. Of course, sometimes we have to do it again off and on. I guess one thing we tell them is if they "come out one more time we will have to take ___" (which is usually their cuddle thing they take to bed with them. That seems to work well for us. David and Rebecca share a room and that can cause trouble too. Good luck!