I want to watch tv; my daughter wants me to watch her fall asleep. Help!

Question

My daughter wants me to stay in her room with her in her bed until she falls asleep. And it's just taking so much of my alone time, and I need my alone time. There are times that she is able to stay alone but it's rare. For my almost 5 year old. How do we break a habit? Cold turkey?

Answer

This type of shift for a 4 almost 5 year old needs prediction, and then a consistent plan. Cold turkey will not work because you will ruin her bedtime. You can use a transitional book that tells her the story of how she has slept until now and for the ending of the book you can add that now it's time to go to bed with just one hug and one kiss good night. Read this book often. Then on a calendar give her at least 3 weeks and mark the day that one hug and one kiss will begin. Each night in those three weeks you tell her you are practicing and begin to spend less and less time in her room until you reach "the day"...once that day comes you try to keep the one hug/one kiss as best you can. Do not start this process if those weeks will be interrupted by vacation or visiting grandparents or anything that will take you out of the process. Or wait it out.  Be with her at night and some days she will need you more than others, and eventually she will be able to put herself to sleep with just one hug and one kiss...eventually.