Thursday, September 16, 2010

Well, that was the wrong call...

"I'm starting to have doubts about the sleep training," I mumbled to my husband over dinner on Tuesday night.

"Me, too."

So started our discussion on the pros and cons of what we'd been trying for 4 nights.  (See my last post).

After 4 nights, things had not gotten even the slightest bit better.  I'm pretty sure the point of this method is that each night gets a little better until your child no longer needs you to go back to sleep.  On the third night, Ephraim got so upset that he had diarrhea.

And then there were the days.  Suffice it to say that many things we've worked through with Ephraim over the past 7 months began to go out the window.  He began to regress to many old behaviors.

Then I was reading this week that adopted children need first and foremost to learn that they can trust their parents.  I was reading that as adoptive parents you have to throw out all the "normal" parenting techniques and strategies that are recommended to you by books, family, friends, doctors.  You have to do things that are sometimes counterintuitive because that is what your child needs.

So Chris and I discussed all of this and he said he wanted to make sure we weren't just considering stopping sleep training because we were tired.  I told him that was not even on the list of why I was considering it.  I know you go through the no sleeping part of sleep training in order to get to better sleep.  I was considering stopping the training because of the above reasons.  I felt like Ephraim needs to know that we are there for him when he needs us even if it's just because he can't fall back asleep.  We will be by his side and we will not abandon him.

All this to say, we stopped sleep training.

I am completely at peace with this decision.  The day after we stopped, Ephraim became so much less controlling, had so many less meltdowns, became slightly less clingy, and just seems more peaceful.

This adoptive parenting thing is hard.  It's hard to always know what he needs.  It's hard to take every piece of advice you hear and line it up with everything you've learned about adoptive parenting and everything you've figured out about your child and decide if indeed it is the best option for him...and I guess sometimes there's no way of knowing until you try it.  It's times like this that I am reminded just how much Ephraim needs from us.  I know we won't be perfect parents and that we can't heal him, but we can try our hardest and we can keep praying that the Lord will heal him.

So thanks for the prayers.


Venessa said...

Thank you for sharing this message! There is no one way to raise a child. I appreciate your honesty as I am sure we will face similar situations! I will remember your post!!

Lori said...

I believe so very strongly that not only adoptive children, but all children need first and foremost to learn they can trust their parents. Many "normal" (to our current society) parenting techniques and strategies recommended by books, family, friends, and doctors need to be thrown out or at least carefully thought through. I think you did the right thing to not "sleep train". You are right, we do our absolute best and pray. Ephraim is blessed to have such good and Godly parents.

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