Way Better Than Poking Her With a Stick

7 Jun

STORY FROM A MOM / TRY THIS AT HOME

You’ve been there: You’re in tha car, racing to get home before nap time, because if your kid falls asleep in the car, you’re doomed. You’ll have to sit in the hot (or cold) car while your child sleeps in his car seat, or you’ll try to move him and then he wakes up — either way, there goes your chance to relax and re-charge while your little one naps in his crib. Myhusband used to joke, “Poke him with a stick, if he starts to fall asleep.” So, we’d poke away (with fingers — there were no actual sticks involved), trying to keep our son awake before we got him into his crib.

I doesn’t have to be like that. A mom shared her keep-them-awake trick with me after class today. She plays a game with her daughter on a regular basis — an audiation game — where she sing a song and stops before the last word in each phrase, and her daughter sings the missing words. They’ve recently started playing this game with familiar books, too (“I think playing with music like this paved the way for doing it with books,” said the mom). Anyway, this mom now uses her leaving-out-words audiation game to keep her daughter awake in the car. If her child starts to drift off, the mom sings a line from a song, or recites a line from a story, and leaves off the last word of each line. Without fail, her child snaps out of her sleep-is-coming haze and sings or says the missing word. They do this until they reach home, and everyone is happy.

I wish I’d thought of this when my kids were little. There would have been way less poking and way more fun on those frantic rides home.

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