On negotiations and tears

In our household, you can find people on all sides of the cry-it-out vs. no tears debate.  And, by 29 months, we have tried it all.  The honest truth is that lack of consistency seems to be the biggest problem our two-year-old faces.  When asked to cry-it-out, she figures out how to self soothe and sleep by herself pretty quickly and painlessly.  When given the options to be cuddled and rocked to sleep, she will jump on that.  Vacillating back and forth, however, is hard.

Photo: Paul Goyette

Recently, however, we have a new phenomenon: negotiation.  Being excessively verbal, she is working to see what works in getting to stay up and what is ignored by the parents.  Recent post-bedtime requests have included:

  • Potty, please.
  • I want eat.
  • I want eat eggs.
  • I want eat yogurt.
  • I hungry, please.
  • Sleep in big bed.
  • Go get Harley.  I want my dog!
  • Want new pajamas.
  • Want Mama wear pajamas.
  • Want [name one of many toys]
  • Need binkin [binkin = pacifier; usually right after she has thrown it across the room]
  • Want go there.
  • Want go rocking chair.
  • Need more hugs.

Note: she is never actually hungry and often when we get to the potty, she does nothing.  She is looking for excuses to be up and moving, thus avoiding sleep.  She is learning what negotiating tactics work and what don’t.  The dog, however, is my favorite.  She believes her crying scares the dog, so when Harley comes in, the tears must stop.  Once tears and negotiating stop for any length of time, she is out.

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