Thursday, January 16, 2014

Creative Parenting

Katie's new princess bed! 

I feel like I am always trying to keep up with my kids as they grow and change and jump from one stage to the next. I have a plan of action and attitude about who they are becoming and then before I my very eyes they switch things up on me. It doesn't happen on their birthday, there is no spot on the calendar for it, it just happens.

When we moved into our new house, over six months ago, our little Katie got her, very much needed, own bedroom.  Not only did she bang her head as a soothing mechanism but she would wake up in the middle of the night ready to play. She would be up for hours as I repeatedly tucked her back in to bed praying she would fall back to sleep.

Now here we are getting her out of her crib and transitioning her into a big girl bed. My mom got her a princess tent for Christmas and we bought her a twin sized bed and mentally prepared for this new transition.

Katie needs extra security at night. She has heavy blankets and often loves to be in a tent like environment so this was perfect for her! I could put her mattress on the floor for a while so she didn't fall out and when she is on a bed frame the tent will fit on top!

Lately Katie has been mentioning being a big girl like Laura and Mia. She wants to play with them more and dress up and started asking to sleep with them in their room. Since it was Christmas break and  we could endure some sleepless nights with my husband on vacation I thought we should give it a try. So her tent is between their two beds and we really played up the whole being a big girl thing. It was first. Then the honeymoon stage was over.

I heard noises at 2am and walked in the girls' room only to find Katie on the floor by the door playing with the barbie house in the dark. The next night I woke up from her gathering toys to put in her tent. I was having a hard time getting sleep and worried about her being up at night while I was out.

I decided to skip nap time for a few days and see if that made a difference. Sure enough it did! It also brought meltdowns by dinner time. Gotta pick my battles. So now Katie gets to have some quiet movie time with Mia while the boys sleep and going to bed at night is much better and she has been sleeping through the night.

Because we have an extra room now we were able to make a play room and therefore take out all the toys out of the bedrooms so there is nothing to play with in the middle of the night. This has been a huge help.

At first Katie needed her own space. Now she is doing much better with the idea of being one of the big girls. She longs to be like them and the older she gets the more she catches up. I love that my three princesses are in a room together and for now this is what is best for everyone.

Creative parenting. Rolling with the punches. Thinking outside the box. Being willing to change plans and adapt to new behaviors.

When I first became a parent dreamed about decorating bedrooms and having the cutest bedspreads, bookshelves with their favorite knick knacks, everything a little kid would dream of. But now I am a mother who is creating an environment that will help my child sleep. Removing most everything from their rooms, keeping simple walls, minimal decor, and letting my sweet girl sleep in a tent over a mattress on the floor. All with the same intent...showing love to my littles.

Creative parenting, letting go of my ideas and searching for what my kids need from me.

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