I have a 6-year-old boy who cries when he does not get his way. He cries when I leave for work, even after I have explained to him why I must work. I don’t want to raise my voice to him.
Talking to a 6-year-old about why you have to leave is difficult. It is hard for him to understand the importance of making money to pay the bills. When we talk or teach our children, it is important to use “kid reasons” and not “adult reasons.”
For instance, when we tell our child that we want her to clean her room because it looks messy, this is an “adult reason.” Put it in terms a child can appreciate. Say she needs to clean her room so her toys don’t get lost or broken. A child would become upset if a toy was lost or broken. So when you talk to your son about leaving, give him a “kid reason” and keep it positive.
Try pre-teaching about the situation before you leave. Say something like “OK, honey, in a little bit Mommy has to go to work. When it is time, you can come give Mommy a kiss and hug and then go back and play with your toys. Let’s practice.” Then role-play the situation with him. Always remind him that you will be back soon to play with him.
My five year-old daughter is calm, generous, fun, caring and sensitive. We’ve always had a good bedtime routine and she has always slept in her own bed without any problems. After reading, I bring her to bed and spend 10-15 minutes with her, but over the last few months she is increasingly unhappy sleeping by herself and only wants to sleep in her younger sister’s bedroom. She says she’s afraid of tigers and fire. I think she’s very content and happy and secure in general but wonder if she has some underlying insecurities. Once she's asleep she sleeps all night but I don’t want the fears to escalate.
Many parents go through this exact situation. It’s so good that you are reading to your daughter and making it part of her bedtime routine. When kids are afraid of something it is important to explore what they're afraid of and why. If having the five year-old in the room sleeping with your two year-old messes up both of the children's routine then we suggest changing or decreasing the behavior.
From what you described, it sounds like reading time happens in a place other than the child's bedroom. Perhaps reading to her in her own bedroom would give her the extra 10 or 15 minutes to get comfortable with her surroundings. Another suggestion would be the increase the amount of time that you spend with her in her room after reading and before turning out the lights. This is something that can gradually decreased if her fears start to subside.
Your daughter is still exploring her world and it's boundaries. She is in a continuous state of learning, and research shows that our brains aren't fully developed until we're in our mid twenties. Her ability to conceptualize and rationalize is not at the same level as an adult. As parents the best thing we can do is teach our children and offer comfort as they try to make sense of everything. As with potty training and feeding, it can take multiple repetitions for a child to understand something. Be consistent and patient. Your daughter will outgrow this!