Thursday, January 22, 2009

Grand Prize


Genevieve has been crying at bedtime each night--generally the word "screaming" is more accurate--for about nine months now. Her overnight wakings/crying spells, the ones that occurred anywhere from five to ten times per night every single night from September to December--have improved now that she's back on her reflux medicine, but for the most part she's continued to rage about bedtime pretty much every night. Sure, there's been the occasional easy bedtime. And sometimes the screaming lasts for, say, 20 minutes rather than 30, or 45, or an hour. But generally bedtime around here has been One Big Nightmare for almost a year. We've tried early bedtimes, later bedtimes, quicker bedtime routines, longer bedtime routines, bedtime with Julia, bedtime alone, blah blah blah. But we'd never tried PRIZES.

Yesterday while Julia was at nursery school, Genevieve and I went to Target and bought a handful of rewards from the dollar section--stickers, pencils, little Strawberry Shortcake books. Then all day we talked about it: Genevieve would get a prize in the morning if she went to bed with "no cry-cries."(In our house, "cry-cry" seems to indicate more than just the usual baby-crying, but rather an incessant, terrible, shrieking tantrum. Genevieve is master of the bedtime cry-cry.)

Last night Genevieve went to sleep before 8 p.m. without one tear or scream. She slept straight through until 8 a.m., and scored a "Strawberry Shortcake Pony Friends" miniature board book at breakfast.

I'm an experienced parent now, and I know my stubborn second child well, so I'm skeptical that this may be merely a temporary "no cry-cry" honeymoon period. But a girl can hope. And stock up on dollar-store treats.

6 comments:

Mnmom said...

A little bribery goes a LOOONGGG way. Actually, it's not bribery it's "reinforcing good social habits".

Question said...

Loooove the pig tails and the very cute picture. I hope the bribery works. You deserve stress-free evenings.

Shan said...

Thanks, guys! I'll keep you posted.

Christopher Tassava said...

I love that picture a lot, and I love my little girl far more, and I love the idea of even a FEW good nights a week. Well done, Mom!

Amber said...

Let me tell you that we are the master of rewards. Now Mia is 6 and she recently got a reward chart for going to bed without needing parental help with adjusting her blankets just -so. Previously it was a nightly struggle and the routine was getting longer and longer so we thought we would nip it in the bud. Anyway, the other day she said "How come adjusting my blanket is SO much easier when I get a sticker in the morning?!" Hmmm....something to think about...

Shan said...

Ha! Amber--that's a good quote. :)