OK confessions of a lazy (unenlightened, uneducated confused but also in large part lazy) parent.
Funny how this always comes back to napping because it doesn't have to but napping issues was my lightbulb moment. Lily never slept. 15 minute stretchs from birth and she was horrid. I have almost no goodmemories from our first two years and we had actually decided not to have any more children because we couldn't deal with the behavior and health issues in both of us due to being chronically over tired nor did I want to have a nother child if there was a chance we would have this kind of struggle. BUt I belived children would sleep when they needed to sleep so I never did anything. Why did I believe that when it was obviously not true? Becuase it was the easiest thing for me to believe. it was the first things I read. I didn't have to look any further. this statement justified the type ofparenting I wanted to do. I didn't have to be tied to schedules. I didn't have to do elaborate bedtime routiens. No cry it out (of course Lily was so tired and cranky that she cried non stop, injured herselfregularly, was always sick and losing weight by 6months old dut at least she wasn't crying because she was alone in her crib which some how made it more OK) I was told to buck up and lower my expectations. This too shall pass. it wasn't passaing fast enough forme and I decided nomore children, dream over, i hate parenting but fortunately when we made the descision not to have any more children I was already pregnant but then I paniced because I couldn't do it again. I cried for days. then I picked myself up and went out and bought the no cry sleep solution, every lavender scented product ont he market, new pajamas and pillows, candles, a note book, re-read a book I had bought earlier (The 7 o'clock Bedtime - highly recomend it) and cleared my calander for a couple of months. I was not leaving my house until this child slept. And we did it. It was a ton of work. I missed out on a lot of stuff. there were a lot of tears shed by both of us before it was all said and done. but with in 3 days she was going to bed at 8 instead of 1, within a month she was napping regularly for the first time in her life, and within two months I was putting her to bed at 8, doing a shortened version of our routien, kidding her good night andleaving her to drift off peacfully and she still took two hour naps in the afternoon (which in my opinion almost all 24month olds need ). and best yert, she is sweet and pleasent and intellegent and coordinated and reletively healthy. SOmething we never had before. wehn she doesn't get enough rest during the day or has a short night things decline quickly (she is 4 1/2 by the way) she still has nightmares and sleep walking episodes when she is very very tired. usually on nights we don't respect her bedtime. BUt altgether better.
so here is what I learned. Not all children are easy. Not all kids want to sleep. I had read about bedtime routiens but until I established one, wrote it out to the minute and followed it exactly every night to the letter (hating every minute of it) and stuck to a routien both daily and nightly doing things at almost exactly the same time every day. And I hated it. I wanted my care free, schedule free whatever suits me life. And that my friends was laziness. resistance to change. not being respectful of my childrens needs. holdingon to a philosphy, ideals bwhilemy children suffered (and don't think my then 4 year old didn't suffer terribly but I didn't know what to do. t his was supposed to be the answer for every baby, hold and nurse was all you needed to do so it is all I did) She still doesn't always want to go to bed. who does. Then I would sit right by her and not let her get up until she fell asleep. yeah she pitched a fit but as someone else said she wouldbe pitching a fit if I told her no more candy or told her she had to go to the Dr. and it wouldn't phase me. why this? And sleep is a health issue!! those of you with rested children might not understand how big of one but those of us with chronically over tired children need no scientific proof that lack of sleep changs a child emotionally, behaviourally and physically. it is not pretty.
I know "GD" (actually just lazy permissive) beyond sleep who hold to the philosophy that they know what they need and don't need to do anything. They are awful! They eat junk, no/little grooming (cause they don't like it), money to spend without limits and junk food without limits. They wouldn'tmake them go to the Dr. if they didn't want to. wouldn't make them go anywhere (until all this wears a little thin and the parents snap and go into scary rages) everytime I see them they have junk in thier hands or money to buy junk. if they run out of allowance and want a pop mombuys them one. They don't brush thier teeth so they are rotting out. these kids are little. They think it will build thier self esteem. I think if they make it to adulthood they are gonna be pissed at the lack of insistance that there parents had about thier health care. about thier attitudes. about being given responsibilities they weren't ready for. And they are awful kids. they are snotty, and mean and distructive and demanding and unappreciative. My mom had to hold me down to brush my teeth and thank goodness she did because you only get one shot. and I really notice peoples smiles. My point is these famlies that In know claim they believe these great philosphies but really thier philosophies are just thierblanket of justification to parent the way they do.
and I am not saying all GD is bad, obviously not. or even allpermissiveness is lazy. some people work really hard to creat an environment in which they can be permissive. too much for me. I would just rather have boundries
but whatever floats your boat so long as your child is happy and well care for. not just not dead but healthy. I really think some of the stuff I see being passed off as "GD" is neglect. if someone wasn't feeding thier child we would report them. if someone wasn't keeping thier child clean enough or whatever would we report that? what if thier child was sick and they refused medical treatment because thier child hated Dr.s?
And about itnot being anyones business how we parent. Ya know if I was spanking or advocating cry it out or scheduled feeding formy own convience youwould be all over me. heck if I wanted to circumsize or vaccinate you would be all up in my business. It swings both ways. People just want to make sure that kids are being taken care of. it isn't a whos the greatest parent contest and just because you believe your philosophy and ideals are right doesn'tm ean no one is allowed to question you on them. If you are going let your children get sick and cranky from toomuch sugar, become violent from to much violent TV, injured regularly because they aren't getting enough sleep then youhad better be prepared to justify it IMHO. Just like if someone truely felt spanking was nessecary they had better have a good reason andbe willing to share. especially in a forum set up for sharing. we aren't here to just smile andnod at everything, we are here to hash out the finer points of gentle discipline and why feel called to it.