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!
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.
As CrabbieMasters Jay and Kay point out in a few excerpts from Here Comes Too-Tired:
And as Too-Tired confirms:
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!