This topic has always piqued my interest. While I've always tried for a child-led approach with my little one, I have not really allowed for self-regulation of things like TV, sleep, and treats. I guess I just have the impression that it wouldn't work, but...I like the idea of it.
With sleep, my DD has always been one of those kids who just seems to lack understanding of the whole process. There was nothing she hated as an infant as much as the feeling of falling asleep. She was not inclined to nap, at 2.5 believes that sleeping during the day is just wrong, and still wakes up many times at night. With all the sleep deprivation she's put me through, I have a hard time handling the idea of LESS sleep as a result of letting her self-regulate. But I also think that perhaps that might be the best way to help her understand this whole tired/sleeping thing that she has such trouble with.
TV. I have a really hard time believing that she wouldn't watch way way more than I want her to. How can a child self-regulate in the face of something so insidiously mind-sucking as TV? Even I have a hard time breaking myself away from it.
And food. I know there's this idea that children will, if left to their own devices, eat what they need to eat. But...isn't this only true within certain bounds of what they're offered? If continuously allowed things like Cheetos and ice cream along with veggies and whole grain breads, etc., will they really make the right choices? Again, I feel like the insidious pull of some of the less healthy foods might be too much for a child.
Any insight/experience/opinions on this topic? Some reading recommendations would be useful, too. Thanks!