Crabbie Alert! It’s Daylight Savings Time!

Too-Tired has brought in his auxiliary Crabbies!

A scowling Kay is surrounded by all eight Crabbies.

Being a CrabbieMaster is often a simple matter of recognizing when the Crabbies are going to come and preparing for them. Moving the clocks ahead for daylight savings time is going to be one of those times.

Here’s what I’ve seen happen time and time again:

Obviously, we are going to be struggling with Too-Tired until our bodies get used to the time change. What is not quite so obvious is what I like to call the supportive auxiliary crew that we end up dealing with along with Too-Tired.

I saw immediate evidence of the auxiliary team in preschool yesterday. The first one we kicked out before he had a chance to create any issue was Hungry! One of the girls said she was feeling hungry because she did not have time for breakfast! I gave her some yogurt and cereal, and before I knew it, I had the whole group lined up saying they were hungry too.

That’s the issue with the time change right there. Everyone’s sleep/wake schedule is off and Hurry-Up is right on the scene running interference with breakfast. So Hungry comes right in and then very likely, Junk-Food as everyone grabs something quick to eat.

This is where as a CrabbieMaster adult you need to be willing to be flexible. I was not anticipating the Hungry Crabbie yesterday, but you can bet today I will be. This time change is going to be an influencer for at least the week.

Next, I heard someone say, “I had that truck first.” Evidence of Get-Along! All it took was for me to remind them of the time change and how they were probably just a little tired and that we all know that Get-Along likes to be in our business when we are tired. This is where it works great to have a little fun! We went to the wall where we have pictures of all of the Crabbies and said, “Get-Along, stay out of our business!” That was all it took to make everyone laugh and start our day on a positive note! Get-Along was out of here for the whole day!

A smiling Kay has sent all eight Crabbies scurrying away.

The key really is to call out the Crabbies as soon as you see evidence that they are around. The challenge for the adult is to recognize which Crabbies are behind the behaviors!

Make it a great day!

Becky 🙂

It’s a Can’t-Do Crabbie ‘Twofer’

First, Can’t-Do Goes Solo…
and then, Can’t-Do Teams Up with Too-Tired.

Kay standing at edge of pool afraid as Can't-Do Crabbie tells her it's too scary to jump.

One of the most rewarding experiences I have in working with children is having a child join me in the fall and hearing from a parent in a very short time that their ‘timid child’ or their ‘negative’ child or their ‘defiant’ child has become so positive and self-confident.

Strong as it sounds, the reality is that the Can’t-Do Crabbie can really do a number on children. It impacts both how they think of themselves AND how others view them.

Beating Can’t-Do is very rewarding because of the confidence we gain in being able to do something we first see as difficult or something that we are afraid to even try. This is true for adults as much as it is for children. Teaching kids at a young age how to beat Can’t-Do gives them an incredible gift: Confidence! Confidence that sticks with them into their adult life.

For more basic Can’t-Do info, visit our website under Crabbies. We talk about the multiple faces of Can’t-Do. For the purposes of this post I will first address how to manage Can’t-Do when your child is faced with something they really cannot yet do and then second, when Too-Tired is – an often ‘hidden’ – part of the problem.

Setting your child up for success when they are faced with something completely new that they really won’t be able to do at first.

Sometimes your child may state, “I can’t” because they legitimately do not know how to do what is being asked of them. In these cases, it is important to teach them and to help them. This often requires breaking things down step-by-step or helping them master an easier task first. Another good strategy is to offer to do things together, with them taking on more responsibility than before at the same time that you help do things that are beyond their current ability level. Think of first time bowling (or anything else new). To start, use guard rails. At first the ball bounces off them a lot. They keep your child from getting frustrated and giving up because the ball hits some pins. Fun! So confidence grows. And with time, practice, feedback and funBye-Bye Guard Rails!


Whether your child is going to do something completely new or something they have done many times before, if they are tired, the chances of Can’t-Do being an issue is very close to 100%.

Kay has fallen off her bike while Can't-Do Crabbie tells her to not even try.

Fact #1: It does not matter how justifiable the reason for your child being tired is, the truth is that it is highly likely that being tired will come back to bite you when it comes to Can’t-Do.

Fact #2: It comes back to bite you because when they go to try something familiar or something new, even if they are not dealing with Too-Tired in that moment, the memory of the struggles of the previous attempts that didn’t work because of Too-Tired kicks in so that Can’t-Do still gets his foothold even without Too-Tired being right there.

I cannot stress enough how vital it is to recognize when Too-Tired is behind Can’t-Do when it comes to turning things around and changing your child’s ability to tackle those hopeless feelings that are behind Can’t-Do.

The good news is that as complicated as this sometimes seems, the amazing reality is that once you recognize when Too-Tired is the issue it is no longer complicated.

The first step is explaining calmly and kindly to the child that you know the real issue is that Too-Tired is teaming up with Can’t-Do.

Note: If you are in the early stages of being a CrabbieMaster yourself, recognize that over time your child will trust what you are saying in these situations. Adult/Child relationships are built over time. It is about intentionally creating positive interactions. Little by little. This is what CrabbieMasters is about.

The second step is to work with the child to first beat Too-Tired and then tackle something that they will be able to have success with to rebuild some ‘can-do’ confidence. And then move on again to try whatever’s harder!

Please feel free to comment here or private message me with your struggles or successes when it comes to beating Can’t-Do. The goal of CrabbieMasters is to build a supportive community.

Make it a good day.

Becky 🙂


Use Too-Tired to Beat Too-Tired

Too-Tired truly is the Worst Crabbie in the Universe, but with good tricks to beat him he can be brought under control like any other Crabbie. 🙂

The good news is we can actually use the Too-Tired Crabbie himself to motivate your child to want to sleep!

Too-Tired Crabbie holding brown bear in his left arm.


Here’s how it works:

Generally speaking, the way we teach kids to beat the Crabbies is to learn what they like and then do just the opposite. “We know what they like! We just don’t do it!”

Over the years I have figured out how to approach this. Rather than focusing on the need for sleep directly, I focus on one of the consequences of not sleeping.

The key reality for Too-Tired is that he does not like to have fun!

He is simply Too-Tired.

Too-Tired Crabbie with giant hand to mouth closed eyes yawn

As CrabbieMasters Jay and Kay point out in a few excerpts from Here Comes Too-Tired:

Too-Tired Crabbie riding a trike, going on a hike, singing, and not liking it.


And as Too-Tired confirms:

Too-Tired Crabbie swimming, lifting weights, playing ball and not liking it.

But kids DO love to have fun!

So, what I focus on is the fact that by not sleeping, napping, resting, or having any quiet time,

Too-Tired doesn’t have any energy and he misses out on all the fun!

If you don’t want to miss out on fun, “Beat Too-Tired!”


Our goal in writing the CrabbieMasters Beat the Crabbies series of books is to model real-life experiences where Crabbies sneak into the day and model what CrabbieMasters do to take charge.

In the same way the book is a model for the consequences of Too-Tired, there will be times when your child lives these consequences. You will be getting ready to go to the park and he will have a meltdown because you asked him to put on his shoes by himself or you will be at the beach and she will start screaming because she wanted the blue sand shovel, not the red one! These are times to be the CrabbieMaster leader and point out that the fun is being spoiled by the Too-Tired Crabbie.

I stress that you should only point it out in the moment if you can manage to do it in a non-emotional supportive way. Otherwise, recognize it yourself, get past the situation, and then bring it up after the child has had some sleep. It does not feel good to your child when they lose control. A well-rested child will see the relationship between the meltdown and being tired. Now you will be able to talk about sleep being the way to beat the Too-Tired Crabbie so that he does not spoil the fun. In fact, it was after one of those meltdowns that a five -year old child woke up from the nap she had fought and announced, “Too-Tired is the Worst Crabbie in the Universe!”


Make it a great day!

Becky 🙂

You’re so silly, King

“I’m a weekend warrior!” King exclaimed.

“Ha, ha, King! You are no such thing,” Kay said.

“Wanna bet?”

“Come on, King. You’re a crab. You are far from a warrior.”

“I am more than a crab. I am a WEEKEND WARRIOR!”

Kay let out a loud sigh. “What makes you think that, King? You need to explain this to me.”

CrabbieMaster Kay

“Well, all my Crabbies are out ruining the day for people all across the country! From the east coast to the west coast.”

“Um, King. Jay just chased Too-Tired away, so I don’t think he’s out ruining anyone’s day, especially across the country!”

“Nonsense, Kay. Too-Tired has a lot of legs. He can make time.”

“No way! Look down there!” Kay said, pointing to a tree a few yards away.

“He’ll get going. You’ll see. We are WEEKEND WARRIORS!”

“King, look again. He’s leaning against the tree and he’s sleeping.”

“Well, um… well, um… you know, Kay. I really should get a move on. I have to be in Oregon soon.”

Kay laughed. “Okay, King. If you say so, you big ole weekend warrior.”

And with that, King strolled away. He went over to Too-Tired and let out a scream. “Wake up, Too-Tired. We have work to do!”

Too-Tired jumped up and yawned.

“You two are some weekend warriors,” Kay called out. “You can go anywhere you want. You’ll always find CrabbieMasters! And you don’t even know what it means to be a weekend warrior. You silly Crabbie. You don’t try to ruin the day only on the weekends!”

“Whatever, Kay,” King yelled, and he and Too-Tired walked away… slowly.

We think it’s going to take them a long time to get to Oregon!

Too-Tired takes control!

Hi all! It’s me, Too-Tired. I’ll be doing the writing today. You see, Miss Becky is out on a lake somewhere, in a canoe, enjoying the sun and having a good time. But… she forgot to close her computer, so here I am! Tee hee! Miss Becky, you’ve been hacked!

So… this is what I want you all to know. I am NOT the worst Crabbie in the universe. Nope. Not me. I love making you all tired and crabby, but that doesn’t make me the worst Crabbie. Nope. Not me.

I am going to make Miss Becky tired. Sun and fun can really tire out humans, but not me. We crabs live in sand and water. We love the sun and we love fun. It’s an easy day for me. I have the sun and fun to help me. Tee hee!

Uh oh! Here comes CrabbieMasters Jay and Kay. I’ll hide until they go away.

Hello friends! Jay here. CrabbieMaster Jay

Pay no attention to Too-Tired. He thinks he’s not the worst Crabbie in the universe, but he is! And… he should not be touching anyone’s computer without permission. He may think he outsmarted Miss Becky, but he didn’t. She’s coming in the door right now, and she’s not tired at all. She’s carrying a big, heavy bag and she’s singing a song. That’s right, Too-Tired. Time for you to leave.

Hi there! Kay here. CrabbieMaster Kay

Pay no attention to silly Too-Tired. He thinks he’s clever, but he’s not. Oh look! Miss Becky is shooing him away. She told him not to come back today or any day!

He’s running out the door with his claws between his legs. Poor Too-Tired, NOT.


Too-Tired is too tired for FUN!

Every now and then, we CrabbieMasters like to mess with the Crabbies like they try to mess with us.

Listen in as a bunch of CrabbieMaster campers take on Too-Tired:

We are CrabbieMasters!

We DO like fun, and, we are wise enough to Power-Up so that we are NOT too tired for fun!

Happy Monday!

Boy, it sure was a busy weekend with lots of things to do and then yesterday was Mother’s Day. For some of us that means Monday morning can be hectic.

When things get hectic, Hurry-Up gets happy. He loves it when kids are tired and cranky and make mom or dad late. He loves when kids are late for school. In fact, he loves anything late.

Hurry-Up sometimes depends on his pal Too-Tired to ruin the day. Getting a good night’s sleep can help keep Hurry-Up away because sometimes we oversleep and that makes us have to rush, rush, rush and that can make us late, late, late.

We here at CrabbieMasters headquarters hope that wherever you venture today, you’re on time!

Happy Monday!

Are you tired today?

Yesterday, we sprang ahead an hour and today some of you are feeling it. The blah, tired feeling as we try to adjust to losing an hour’s sleep.

This is a day Too-Tired loves. He’s been prancing around, singing a song. It goes like this:

La la la la

La la la

Are you tired today?

I knew I’d get my way.

Drag your feet, sleepy head

Let the yawning spread.

La la la la

La la la.

Oh, look! It’s time for bed!

Yes, Too-Tired thinks he’s a rock star. He has learned rhyming words, so he’s really full of himself.

We know for some it can be a hard day as we adjust to the time difference. Some of you are lucky and live where there’s no changing the clocks ever! For those of us who must, we may have lost an hour’s sleep, but we gained an hour of daylight, and an hour of daylight means were closer to spring.


We hope you get a good night’s sleep tonight!

Too-Tired Crabbie, crabby, tired, sleepy


Happy Monday!

The CrabbieMaster are happy that it’s Monday. Why are they so happy to celebrate the beginning of a new week when usually people feel blah after the nice weekend?

Because Monday brings us one day closer to spring!

“Winter is fun,” said CrabbieMaster Kay. “But sometimes the weather is stormy or too cold to play outside. I like to play outside in the fresh air.”

“I like playing in the fresh air too,” said CrabbieMaster Jay. “Fresh air helps to keep the Crabbies away.”

“That’s right, Jay,” said Kay. “Fresh air and lots of exercise help keep the Crabbies aways, especially Too-Tired, the worst Crabbie in the universe.

“Hey, did I hear someone call my name?” Too-Tired Crabbie, crabby, tired, sleepy

“Oh, Too-Tired, we were just talking about you,” Jay said. “We weren’t calling for you. Kay was just telling me how fresh air and lots of exercise are a good way to keep you away.”

“But… I don’t like it when you get fresh air, and I don’t like it when you exercise.”

“That’s too bad!” said Kay. “We know how to keep you away. We know how to keep you out of our day!”

“That’s right,” Jay agreed. “Even though it’s winter, we still get fresh air and exercise. We know it’s good for us, and you know it’s good for us, and we can’t wait for spring when we can get even MORE fresh air and exercise.”

“Fresh air. Exercise. No, no, no. I don’t like that one bit,” Too-Tired squealed.

“Too bad, Too-Tired,” Jay and Kay said together. Jay waved his cape at Too-Tired. “You can go now. Kay and I are going for a walk and we’re going to enjoy the fresh air that will help us stay healthy and help us get a good night’s sleep.”

We hope you’re looking forward to spring and more outdoor fun too!


When Too-Tired moves in…

How do you know when Too-Tired moves in?

In my last post I talked about how all the Crabbies take advantage of us when we are tired. It’s tough for all of us when we get tired, but for young kids, it’s even harder.

There are a number of recognizable signs that someone is tired:

  • Cry easily
  • Gloomy (not particularly enthused about anything)
  • Lack of energy or coordination (really common for tired kids to fall down on the playground)
  • Inability to focus (hard time following simple instructions)
  • Impulsive (quickly react to situations; including hitting friends or throwing things)
  • Whiny and mumbling (you can’t figure out what they are saying)
  • ‘Wild’ (a consequence of the inability to focus)

For years, there was no real research on how much sleep is needed. In working with preschoolers, I noticed that if kids had less than 11 hours it was going to be an issue, if not the first day, later in the week. If they had 12 hours, they were going to be remarkably cooperative and reasonable. Now research is out, and the below chart states the optimal number of hours for various age groups.

Average number of hours of sleep needed per day, including nighttime sleep and naps:

Infant (0-12 months) – 14-18 hours
Toddler (13-36 months) – 13 hours
Preschooler (3-6 years) – 12 hours
School-age (6-12 years) – 10-11 hours
Adolescent (13-19 years) – 9.25 hours
Adult (20+ years) – 8.25 hours

With the holidays close by, and the excitement of Santa’s arrival, it can cause insomnia and that means Too-Tired is not far behind. Be sure to get a good night’s sleep every night and send a message to Too-Tired that he’s not welcome in your day today or any day!

Image Courtesy of Flickr/Jan Tik