Friday, January 21, 2011

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Attachment Parenting or CIO?

Before becoming a parent I researched several different parenting styles. I wanted obviously to provide my child with a nurturing loving atmosphere. The parenting style that seemed right at the time for us was attachment style parenting. I chose that method because I wanted to have this unbreakable bond with my child. I wanted my child to know that I was there for whatever he needed. This worked decently for awhile. But I soon realized that being a child care provider meant I could not spend all my time attached to my own child because I would be neglecting the needs of the other children in my care. My methods soon went out the window and I just handled each situation as they came along and there was no method to my madness...

Those of you that successfully pull off attachment style parenting with multiple kids, I applaud you. I really do. So while I've never thought CIO (Cry it Out) was a bad thing, I just thought that I would use that as a last resort and I could come up with other ways to help my child soothe himself. What I have recently learned with an almost two year old is that over the course of his short little life, I have not taught him self soothing skills. I have really done him a dis-service. The times when we would let him "cry it out", 15 minutes later we are changing vomit filled bedding. The work to strip the sheets and bedding from the crib, get them in the washer, running the washer and dryer, bathing the child every night til he learned how to self sooth seemed down right silly every night, then to take the time to rock him til he was sleepy. Now keep in mind since about 9 months or so, I've been able to rock the child til he was "sleepy" then lay him in his crib and he'd babble himself to sleep. This worked most nights.....lately though because I've cut out the nap time rocking, due to having an infant in my care and well due to the fact I never rocked CB and I only rocked big J enough to get him sleepy and put him in his pack n play when he was an infant and that was just a 2 week process til he got the hint, that this was nap time. I'd successfully lay the two other toddlers in their pack n plays and they would be out within minutes. But I still took the time to rock my own son til he was sleepy during nap times....thus causing him a dis-service being unable to put himself to sleep at almost 2 years of age.

So now I am going thru the daunting task of teaching my son to self sooth and to once and for all put himself to sleep when I lay him in his crib. This he should have learned a long time ago. But he was my baby, and my first and I enjoyed watching him drift off into sleepy land.

So now I am completely for this CIO method. I no longer want to coddle. I want to soothe when he needs it, but I have learned my lesson the hard way. If he was in day care he would be doing this already...I would not be writing this post. But since I am the one with him day in and day out, I have babied him...mainly because I just didn't want him to grow up. Now I need him to be a little more self sufficient and while he's always wanted to do whatever we've done and while I feel he's ahead of the game when it comes to his milestones, I have not taught him coping skills.

So now I must teach this, and the method is talking him thru the screaming and tantrum throwing calmly, and of course letting him cry it out. The letting him cry it out part is hard on me. I listen to the screaming and all I want to do is just to do something about it.....not realizing the screaming is the process. Its the process he has to go thru to learn how to cope. If I disrupt the process I'm teaching him that I will come in and fix his world for him instead of him fixing it for himself. I'm teaching him that if he screams long enough, I'll just come in and give in and rock him. So I have to hold myself back and let him have at it. Let him scream, let him throw his tantrum. I've heard the tantrums get shorter until he learns, but we've been so afraid of the vomity throw up when he gets worked up, that we've never let him fully complete a cry out session....so here is for hoping! Wish me luck!

This is going to be soo hard on me!
Heather


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