How to Help Your Cranky Child
My son is a happy kid, but naturally argumentative and pessimistic. I love him to death; however, sometimes it really gets me down. I tried everything to stop this behavior. I sat patiently while he complained about dinner, showering, homework, and whatever else he was doing for the day. I tried stopping him before he could say anything and pointing out when he is doing this behavior so he could identify and work on stopping it. I spent a lot of time arguing with him about the things he would say. None of these really worked for us.
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How do I help my cranky child?
My sister-in-law suggested that I try putting him to bed earlier. I did not think this would work because I thought I was putting him to bed early enough already…still, I was willing to try anything. This was very difficult to change because we have 2 other kids.
We decided it was best to adjust everyone’s bedtime so it would not look like we were just lowering his. We moved it to 7:45. This was hard to hear for a 6 year old. Of course, with his personality, he argued about this for days.
Stick with it!
The first week was tough. Moving the bed time up meant that we had to accomplish more in less time. We ate at 5:30. And I would have to sometimes start dinner an hour after they got home from school. We had to get homework in, baths, and bedtime stories before 7:45.
Once we got them to bed and tucked in they would just lay there. They could not fall asleep that early. We did buy a sound machine and that helped. This is the one we have. Sometimes they would be in bed over an hour complaining they were not tired. I was getting really frustrated. Slowly, they started to fall asleep earlier and earlier.
I noticed after a few weeks that not just my cranky son was in a better mood, they all were. They were still getting up around the same time and they were getting more sleep. I noticed that when they got home from school, they did not complain about their homework as much. I noticed that they listened better and were not as argumentative. My sons personality will never change, but this has helped him so much! He is happier. I never thought that giving him 45 more minutes of sleep a night would mean such a change in his behavior.
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