My son hates naptime. Every day when he goes down for his nap it is like my wife and I are leading him down death row, he is dead man walking and we are leading him to the electric chair. If he only understood how priceless those naps become as he gets older, then he wouldn’t fight them so much now; but he’s two so naptime is a fight virtually every day.
We have tried a number of things to make naptime less of a horrendous event. We have left toys in the room with him that he can play with in bed. This quickly evolves into everyone’s favorite game, let’s see what this toy sounds like when I bang it on every surface in this room. We have left books for him to read, which quickly become torn shreds of paper to line the bottom of someone’s hamster cage. Most days we just leave him in there hoping he will cry himself to sleep. This often leads to him getting so worked up that it is virtually impossible for him to fall asleep or he just instantly passes out at some point and does in fact take a nap.
The problem with all this is that when he doesn’t take a nap, it means that come 5pm he is going to be one unpleasant 2yr old. My wife and last weekend had a lengthy discussion about how to proceed with naptime. I finally convinced her that we are bigger, stronger and usually smarter than him, plus we are the parents; the time had come to strong-arm the 2yr old into taking a nap.
The new rule is that at naptime he has to stay in bed, lying down. We leave the door cracked open, if at any time he is out of bed or standing up, there is one warning and then the spankings begin. After about a week of this, he has taken a nap every day this week and the spankings are to a minimum. While we were both a little reluctant to get to this point, it was either this or we call in the KGB. I think we made the right choice.