Monthly Archives: August 2010

Get some sleep!

Does your child get enough sleep? Do you? Many kids don’t get enough sleep, and it most certainly affects their behavior. As our kids get older, they need less sleep, and sometimes it’s easy to skip naps here and there when we want to be out having fun.

Does your child get enough sleep?

Here are some signs your child isn’t getting enough sleep:

  • He throws fits over insignificant events. Any little thing will send him over the edge.
  • His behavior is characteristically poor an hour or two before bed.
  • He wakes up in bad mood. (This is huge!)
  • He’d rather lie on the couch and watch TV than go outside to play.
  • He seems hyper before bed.
  • It takes him a long time to settle down for bed and naps.
  • It seems like he’s constantly trying to catch up on sleep.

Making sure our kids get enough sleep is one of the easiest and most important things we can do to ensure good behavior. Stay home for naps. Get him in bed early. Give him the gift of sleep. Your social life can wait a year or two.

Do you get enough sleep?

Sleep is just as important for mom and dad as it is for the child. I know first-hand how easy it is to stay up late to have some alone time while the kids are asleep. But when we don’t get enough sleep, we are much more likely to lose patience with our children. When we are well rested, we can react calmly and with authority when they misbehave. Plus, we are much more available to our kids when we have had enough sleep.

Here are some signs that you need more sleep:

  • You feel like you’re disciplining your child all day long. (Every little thing seems like a huge behavior issue.)
  • You know you should react calmly but can’t seem to manage your anger and frustration.
  • You feel like all your child does is need, need, need, want, want, want.
  • You know you should spend more time playing with your child, but you just don’t have the energy.
  • You realize you went through the day barely talking to your child.
  • All you want to do when you have a break from your child is rest.
  • You argue with your spouse about who gets to sleep in.

Now, if you’re up all night with a newborn and up all day with a toddler, you don’t have much opportunity to sleep. Just be aware of your need for sleep. Take a nap when you can and try your hardest to be more patient with your little ones.

But if your kids sleep through the night, you have no excuse. Allow yourself some “me” time, but don’t lose track of time. Go to bed and get up at a reasonable hour and you’ll all be better off.



Filed under discipline, parenting, prevention

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Filed under miscellaneous

FTO Fundamentals: Without complaint

In my last two posts, I discussed the importance of your children coming immediately and completely when you call their names. Now we’ll discuss the issue of attitude. In many ways, making sure your child’s heart is in the right place is much more important than the mechanics of them coming completely and immediately. We want them to submit to our authority without complaint and without challenge.

Challenging your authority

For effective first-time obedience, your child must respond to you without challenging your authority as a parent. There are some subtle and not-so-subtle ways that children challenge our authority:

  • They say “yes, mommy” with a smart, sarcastic tone.
  • They mimic you.
  • They say anything but “yes, mommy” such as “what?”
  • They say nothing.
  • They say “yes, mommy” so quietly you can’t hear them.
  • They say “yes, mommy” appropriately but don’t give you eye contact.

In all of these examples, the child is refusing to submit to your authority. Do not allow your child to respond in this way. Make him repeat with the appropriate response and if he still refuses, send him to his bed to sit in isolation.


There are some people in life who are more prone to complaining than others. I’ll admit that I’m one of them. But I’ll also admit that whining and complaining are done in habit. I’m starting to see it a bit more in my son. When I give an instruction or have to deny one of his many requests, I’ll often get a “but mom…” or “but why…” or “I was just…. If I don’t nip it in the bud, he’ll go on like that for several minutes.

Complaining doesn’t always mean they are challenging our authority, but it is definitely a habit we want to discourage. Even if the child doesn’t like what you have to say, they don’t have a choice in obeying. This is what first-time obedience is about. They must obey whether they want to or not.

So evaluate your child’s attitude when you strive for first-time obedience. Don’t forget that much of parenting is training our children’s hearts and that their outward attitude is the window to their hearts. If you do nothing else in your parenting, make sure your child has a submissive and obedient heart.

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Filed under discipline, first-time obedience