I am at a loss.
I have a six year old Pookie that will not go to sleep. He thinks bedtime is a form of punishment. I have explained to him even at length sometimes that everybody needs sleep. It is not a scary thing. Mommy looks forward to sleep. There's always a new day. There will be more time for play and more time for stories. But that if our bodies do not get the sleep we need, they will not work properly. We will be tired and have no strength. We will be cranky and moody. We won't be able to learn as well without the proper sleep.
I have taught him to count sheep. I have taught him to think about the things he wants to dream about. I encourage cuddling a teddy bear and a favorite blanket. He even has one night a week where he can sleep in Mommy and Daddy's bed- Wednesday. This is a night that he can look forward to.
But every other day, and sometimes even Wednesdays, he fights it. We have withdrawn privileges. He has received red chips in his jar. We have even tried to bribe him to go to sleep.
I fully believe, and please help me change my mind if this is just off the wall, that he should be able to go to sleep on his own. I maintain hope that there are children out there that go to sleep willingly and on time. Pleasant children out there with happy mommies and daddies go to sleep because they know it's what they do and they are willing to do it without bribe or punishment. I maintain hope that one day I will learn this neat parenting trick and be able to pass on the wisdom to my kids.
Oh, and the other kids, sadly they eventually fall asleep while listening to the battle every night. Sometimes it is mad chaos with at least three rebelling at the same time; one almost getting to sleep and another waking them up and usually lots of tears on those nights. mine included.
For about the last two weeks, his excuse is, "I can't go to sleep without Daddy cuddling me." I have explained multiple times each night that yes he "can" but he doesn't "want" to. I explained that it is okay to want a cuddle every night. But think about how many cuddles and fun times he can have during the day. Think about going to sleep nicely every night without a fuss and fight. I've asked him, "Do you like being grounded just because of tantrums to not go to sleep every night?" But is any of it sinking in?
Right now, Danny just led Pookie downstairs with an armfull of dirty laundry. Danny told me, "Pookie is going to do chores." Being unable to stop my wicked tongue I said, "Well, they should be heinously hard then." And I'm thinking he should be scrubbing poop out of cloth diaper covers or scrubbing the toilet. That's not going to work tonight though. I scrubbed the toilets yesterday and we haven't even been using cloth diapers at all through this last pregnancy. On the other hand, I don't want him not liking chores. He loves chores. So, maybe I can get a clean house, he gets to stay up and clean until he passes out, and everyone is happy? But when am I going to date my Danny? I look forward to the time when they are all asleep and I can spend time with Danny without hiring a babysitter.
I am not super-mommy. Please help. PLEASE.