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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

CIO

Most parents will recognize CIO as standing for: Cry It Out, a controversial parenting technique where you allow your child to cry without reward until the undesired behaviour ceases.

I had absolutely no problem allowing my children to CIO when they were infants. Although a good sleeper once she fell asleep, Big A resisted going to bed, both at night time and nap time and we had to let her CIO for a very long time.

After 4 months of pure sleepless hell with Little A, we moved her from the bassinett in our bedroom to the crib in her own room and let her CIO until she started sleeping through the night.

Listening to your child cry is never pleasant, but I was able to follow through with the sleep training plans with relative ease.

Yet as soon as my children are old enough to understand my words and figure out how to manipulate me, I seem to lose the ability to listen to them cry and become instant putty in their hands. I can't seem to give up the hope that I can reason and negotiate with a toddler.

Just as Big A seems to be giving up her 2 and half year tantrum phase, Little A is officially in the Terrible 2s. My former ray of sunshine is suddenly pissy and whiny and throwing tantrums about everything.

I have found myself falling into the same trap that I used to with Big A, of giving in to her ludicrous demands just to placate her. But I am putting a stop to it right now!

Starting this week, I no longer bring Little A any snacks to eat in the stroller on the way home from daycare. It got to the point where no matter what I brought, she found a reason to throw a snack-related fit. Even if I had 3 different fresh fruits, some dried fruit and some cereal, she would whine and complain and have me stopping 20 times in the freezing cold on our walk between her daycare and Big A's, to give her more water, more blueberries, take away the blueberries, find the raisin she dropped in the stroller, etc, etc. Finally I told her on Friday, "No more snacks!" Yesterday, day one of this experiment, I discovered that she will find any reason to throw a fit on the way home from daycare so no point bending over backwards to placate her with snacks. It was all about wanting her mittens off and then on and then off and then her hat and then she got mad and kicked off her boot and then she wanted her boot back on, etc, etc. But I did not stop in the cold. I informed her that when we got inside Big A's warm school I would fix her boot and her mittens...and I didn't give in.

Little A is going to learn that I am the boss, and if she doesn't like it, she can just CIO!

2 comments:

  1. It is so hard to do, and yet so necessary! We're going through this with Timmy right now too. All the crying and whining is driving me BATTY, but I'm hoping that it will diminish in a few days when he realizes that he does not actually get what he wants when it does it. ARGH!!!

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  2. I know, it is so hard! It just seems so much easier to give in sometimes. I really hope this phase is shorter for her than it was for her older sister though. Right now I feel like she spends most of her time lying on the ground in hysterics over not getting what she wants. Grr! At least we know it's not just our kids, but the developmental phase, right?

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