Sunday, February 22, 2009

Separate bedroom for toddler

Here in MD, they require 2 year-old toddler to have a separate bedroom, thus, when we looked for a new apartment we have no choice but to get 2 bedroom unit because of our toddler. As of the moment, there’s no available 2 bedroom in our apartment complex that’s why we’re still stuck in our very first lease (1 bedroom since when we applied for this before, my son was just 11 months old then) I remember the transitions that took place in times when we get Clarence his bed.. From crib, during his infant stage, to cradle, then toddler bed and now queen size bed.!! Could you imagine that? I’ll tell you later why. I’m 100% agree in the idea of separating the kids from the parents’ bedroom because it teaches child to be independent. Sooner or later, my son will need to be in the school class room all by himself with other kids and he needs to be brave in facing that challenge. Clarence became used in sleeping by my side since my wife is working at night. I thought, we’re just two in the house and we both don’t want to be alone during the whole night, that’s why I allowed that kind of sleeping routine. At first, it felt wonderful because it made the bond between us as parent to child really strong. He always looks for me and most of the time preferred to be with me than his mom. Then little by little, time after time, I observed the negative consequences it brings, not only to him but for us. He doesn’t want to be alone in a room, not a single second. He always asked either me or my wife just to be with him to whatever he wanted to do, to the littlest thing he can think of. When it’s my wife’s rest day, we can’t get to ourselves alone because my son always wanted to sleep in between us. In his playgroup activities at school, I noticed that he’s hesitant to mingle with other kids unless I held his hands. To this, we came up to a decision to give him a bedroom of his own. Before, his toddler bed was also in our bedroom but it became useless since he tend to transfer in our bed during sleep time.

Last Thursday, we did some home makeovers, we folded and hid his toddler bed and gave to him instead our queen size bed. Now my wife and I are using the sofa bed in the living room. We put all his toys, books and learning materials in his bedroom so he’ll somehow feel that he owns something and he can tell that it’s his place. His territory. The first night was extremely painful, emotional, heart-breaking, irritating and tiring. It took more than 4 hours of struggle, crying, pleading, bargaining, arguing (me and my wife), and a lot lot more. Clarence almost lost his voice in crying out loud, we didn’t mind if he’s disturbing Mr. Grumpy Old man upstairs because we are strict to our plan even if it did bring us a lot of pain. Well, we have to be consistent, our son’s welfare is at stake when we give up. I’m proud of my wife because whatever I say to her to break her up, she won’t listen and instead gave me a realization of what’s best for all of us. Our strategy was just to stay at the bedroom’s door to let Clarence know that we’re still there but not joining him in bed, since it's his first night. Explaining to him that we already have our own bed in the living room and the big bed is now his. Now is the third night, I can say that there’s a progress since he can now sleep without his body trying to touch and look for mine. I can now little by little, leave the bedroom's door. But it took me 3 hours tonight before he finally gave up. What did you know??, it’s 1:38 am now and he’s sound asleep, how about me? I can’t get my sleep back anymore that’s why I’m now blogging hehe.. One more thing, whenever he cries for my name, I never showed up because he's using his cry to get my attention and make me go back inside the bedroom and when he goes out the bed, I put him and tuck him back in his bed then gave a command to lie down, close his eyes and sleep.. I hope the following days will be a success for us… to make him independent and for us to get our love life back hehe…


Darlene Ouimet said...

Oh my, parenting is so tough, yes? I have three, ages 11, 15 and 17 now. My eldest (son) never wanted to sleep with us, however he was very dependant the way you discribe your son. My middle daughter slept with us till she was three! and she was the most independant! They are all so very different. Don't worry, love is the most important thing of all and it sounds like YOU have that going for you!

Jes said...

congrats!!!! Its really hard tlga pag ganyan pero mabuti at kinaya mo =) i want to prctice that too, i want k=my kids to have their own room, but what can i do, were still living in my inlaws, we are all in 1 room hehhee =) sana magbahay n kme soon! =) mas magnda me sarili room na matatwag nila kanila tlga =) good day!!!

gab's mom said...

nice one al. i watched an early morning show some few months back and this was their topic. they mentioned your reasons for coming up with the decision of giving clarence his own place. children trained to sleep in their own rooms tend to grow independent and responsible. they also develop their self confidence and they tend to show more signs of creativity because they will somehow organize things according to their (yet developing) "taste". those were some of the things i learned.

gab is 1 year and 5 months now. he still sleeps with us. i admire you and lorie's way of raising clarence. we'll surely adapt a lot of ways you are doing to create in clarence a responsible and disciplined individual. =)

regards to lorie and kisses to baby clarence!