Family, Life, Parenting

Mickey Mouse is Sleeping

When Kyle was turning one I started reading toddler books.  I knew that Toddler behaviour will probably be a challenge for us since a) John and I were both a hand-full when we were young and b) Kyle had that “wild”, rambunctious attitude about him as a baby.  One of my favourite books was called Toddler ABC Guide to Discipline by Michelle Smith with Rita Chandler.  I liked the advice (actual actionable steps), and the writing, but mostly, I liked that it was a VERY short book and a quick read.  Too many advice books, although helpful and full of information, are not great as reference books, for when you really need to look up advice based on the situation at hand.

One of the best things that I’ve implemented from that book is something we refer to in our house as “it’s sleeping”.  I started this with Kyle almost immediately after reading about it.  When we were at the park, and had to go home, I said “the Park is going to sleep, time to go home”.  Yes, I know this sounds SILLY, but IT WORKS!!  Kyle never questioned it.

According to the book (Chapter Four: promoting Positive Behaviour), it states that using the term “sleeping” is a

“Terrific transitions to avoid dragging a kicking, screeching kid away…Use this when child must change activities or leave a place they like…Children like a simple reason as to why things have to stop or go away – and this helps.”

Since it worked so well, we’ve used the “sleeping” strategy for many things since.  For example, Kyle is obsessed with bubbles during his bath time.  Even if he’s distracted and playing with his other bath toys, he insists (signing “more”) that we keep blowing bubbles.  To stop this, we started saying “the bubbles are going to sleep now.” And guess what? It worked!  He never fusses or gets upset, he just puts his hands on the side of his head to sign “bed / sleep” and we nod, and say “yes, bubbles are going to sleep”.  And that’s that!

Kyle’s latest obsession is the hot dog song from the Mickey Mouse Club House show.  Specifically, he loves watching this YouTube video of the song on repeat on the iPad:

Yes, we allow Kyle to watch T.V., but I follow the rule of “everything in moderation”*, and so, after 10 showings of that song, it’s time to say “Mickey Mouse is going to sleep”.  As always, he signs “sleep” and we confirm that yes, he is going to sleep, and just like that, it’s fine.  It couldn’t be easier, I promise.  If you’re having trouble separating your toddler from a favourite toy, park, activity, or really anything… I would encourage you to try “putting it to sleep!”

Speaking of “electronics going to sleep”, one of my mine and husband’s favourite child books is Goodnight iPad, by Ann Droyd, a nice updated parody on the traditional “Goodnight moon” book.  Read it, I promise you’ll love it!

Have you tried this or anything similar with your child? If so, did it work? What works for you?

This marks the end of my post…. uhhhh I mean my post is sleeping 🙂

*That and the fact that my husband and I have that song stuck in our head for the rest of the day!

7 thoughts on “Mickey Mouse is Sleeping”

  1. I’m all for the “Yes, I know this sounds SILLY, but IT WORKS!! ” approach.

    Something of that ilk worked for us with getting Yohai to sleep – We’re taking him around the house and saying “good night” and “Bye Bye” to random things be it the lamp, the microwave the elephants in the picture the fridge, the window… whatever. We always end it the same way with “Bye Bye Light” when we turn the light off. He goes to sleep after that. Not necessarily falls asleep immediately, mind you… that would require drugging him… but lies in his bed and usually talks himself to sleep.

    Like you said: “Yes, I know this sounds SILLY, but IT WORKS!! “

  2. I love this idea! I don’t have a baby but am definitely going to try it with my dog and my husband! The milk bones and Angry Birds are about to get really sleepy…

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