Princess and The Rock

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Thursday, 17 January 2013

Nap time - the most stressful part of the day

The children's nap time, that is. I don't know how many of you with two or more young children feel the same way as me about their nap time but I have been struggling
with the Princess' and the Rock's naps the moment my mother left after confinement. (For the uninitiated, the confinement practice after childbirth lasts for 30-40 days and it focuses on re-energising your body with nutritious food and adhering to a lists of dos and don'ts. More information can be found here.)

You see, the Princess was like my shadow from the beginning; she did and went almost everywhere with me, even to the bathroom! It was all good and even enjoyable until I had to split my attention between her and the Rock. The usual jealousy over a new baby applies here but it was mild.
However, when it comes to nap time the minor jealousy will suddenly skyrocket. The Princess expects me to lie down with her like I used too but it is expectedly difficult for me to do so when I have the Rock in my arms. It can be really draining and frustrating for me as putting the children down for their naps usually ends up in angry words and laying of guilt trips on the Princess. The thing is I expect the Princess, at four years, to be able to fall asleep on her own, but she sees it as a way of distancing from her and no amount of explanation and reasoning has worked so far. 

I used to get her to her own room and let her play or read until she was tired enough to sleep but it didn't work well as she would scream and cry loudly for me from her room; it got to a point where I told he she could cry herself to sleep! It was of course not a good solution as it reinforced that I did not care for her as much as her brother. I recently tried bringing her to my room, where I put the Rock to bed and asked her to lie down quietly to sleep (on her own). This arrangement did not work as well because the Rock was too excited by her sister's presence and kept wanting to play with her. Hence they usually ended up sleeping at 3:30-4pm instead of 2:30-3pm, which made them not tired enough to sleep by their stipulated bedtime, which then affects my me-time, couple time with my husband and housework time. In fact today I gave up on their afternoon naps because the Rock was still not sleeping at 4:30pm and the Princess merely had fifteen minutes of (disturbed) rest due to the hullabaloo the Rock was making.

Do you have any suggestions for this nap-time problem? I am certainly game to try it.

One of the many games they play before nap time

2 comments:

  1. Kids nap less when they are older and by 6 years old, some of them stopped napping altogether. So your gal might be napping less now that she is older.

    I would suggest you keep working at setting up a routine for your gal to nap on her own. We explained to our son when he was 5 the following:
    1) Everyone needs to have some time on their own. This time can be to do your own things or to talk to God. And for our son, we told him this this own time is his nap time or the time just before he sleeps at night.
    2) He can choose what he wants to do during nap time but he is not allowed to make a lot of noise or come out of his room. He can sing worship songs or play with his own toys.
    3) If he chooses not to sleep, he is not to throw tantrums because he is tired. Otherwise, we will punish him.

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    1. Thank you for your suggestions Mr Ong. I suspect my gal is phasing out her nap too, it's just that she cannot go without a nap everyday, maybe once every two or three days is fine. I really like the first point you mentioned about "everyone needs to have some time on their own", I will try that. :)

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