The Stubborn, Strong Willed & Determined Child

I have no clue where my youngest gets his stubborn, strong willed and determined attitude from. Couldn’t be his mother. Nope. Not at all.

It’s great to have those skills in life, maybe when you are grown and trying to be successful in working from home or working in general, however, when you have mastered those personality traits at age four, it can be a nightmare for the parental figures.

Case in point. When the four year old doesn’t want to sleep. He doesn’t sleep. My other son was recommended children’s benadryl then later on melatonin but I obviously don’t know the dose of melatonin for the four year old and wouldn’t give that without the recommendation from the pediatrician. Dangerous stuff when not used properly. Children’s benadryl on the other hand has been recommended in part time doses by the pediatrician. I know my four year old’s dose due to the wasp attack during soccer season. The problem I have with using any sleep help is that I don’t want my kid to think he “needs” that to sleep, and since I have tried it a few times he seems to beg for “sleep medicine” when he is having a difficult time sleeping.

I refuse. Flat out refuse to give my kid benadryl because he asks for it and will sing, rub his back, his head, lay with him if need be and not give him that. No way, no how am I going to raise a medicine addicted kid when I barely ever take medicine my own self. So the challenges at bedtime and occasionally during the day have been that my four year old is scared of the dark, scared to be alone in a room even during daylight hours and is seeing shadows that spook him. Even though my four year old can clearly tell me the shadows are from various toys, his bed posts or even his own self, he is still scared.

I recall my daughter going through this same phase, thankfully her phase was due to sleep apnea with enlarged adenoids and tonsils. They were removed. She was better. K-man doesn’t seem to have this issue. He is just plain out right scared or being determined to get into my bed, because he knows Mama is exhausted and will so let him in her bed if the situation doesn’t get resolved within about an hours time.

I am working on being stubborn, strong willed and determined when it comes to bedtime with this kid, but it’s difficult. Hopefully this weekend I can catch up on sleep and come back swinging on Monday night when bedtime rolls around. Every other night I have an issue with this kid. Every other day I have an issue with him too with the fact that he isn’t practicing good safety rules when walking near roads and crossing roads. I end up forcing him to hold my hand while he kicks and screams. I explain to him “I would rather you be safe so hold my hand, flip out if you need to, but I am not letting go”. What does the four year old reply with? “I am not moving until you let go of my hand”.

It’s a mom vs four year old stand off every other day, but I am winning so far and I will succeed in showing him who da Mama is….

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  1. Don’t give up and be consistent. We have a very strong willed three year old and he doesn’t like to sleep in his bed but we have been consistent with him and it is getting better. When our son refuses to stay in his bed my husband or I sit right in front of his door until it gets quiet and he’s asleep. If he opens the door then we pick him up and place him back in his bed. Yes, sometimes it takes a few hours of us putting him back into his bed until he settles down but it is the only way.

  2. We let our son sleep with us if he wanted, until he was in Kindergarten (ahhahaha, Brandy, you have me admitting that out loud publicly!). Everyone told us not to do it, but he’s our last one and we didn’t mind. He still sleeps w/us every once in awhile on the weekends. But when he started Kindergarten, we told him big boys who go to school sleep in their own bed. We gave his toddler bed to his cousin and put in a bunk bed for the big day. And he slept in it like a charm, and still does. 🙂

  3. Oh I am with you – no way would I start my kid on “sleeping aids” at his age (or ever). I think it’s just part of the age. He’s being a little rebelous and I am sure it will pass. My 8 year old is going through something similar and I’ll head to bed at say 10 pm and he will still be awake in his room reading because he “didn’t feel like sleeping”. And this is almost every night, too. I know it will pass and I try to just let it go rather than make a huge deal out of it because I know if I do, that will just make it worse.

    You’re doing the right thing! Hang in there <3

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