As I sit down to type this my 2yr old is asleep on the floor & My 4 yr old is asleep on the couch in the living room. They put themselves there and drifted off while watching a quiet movie. Quiet afternoon movies have become a thing around here because then they voluntarily nap.
I've given up the nap-time battle with them because it's been a fight and for a long time their nap times weren't even on the same schedule but they share a room. First my oldest kind of refused napping once her sister was born and I let it go because a sleeping baby in a quiet shared bedroom was more important at the time. My older daughter would just pass out on the couch after her sister's napping was well underway in their bedroom. Now my younger daughter is refusing nap-time and stays out with her sister but they both do nap most days on their own.
Now that I see them both asleep in there, after falling asleep during a movie, I wonder if I've flubbed things up. I mean is letting them fall asleep to the TV in the living room letting them run the house? I'm not crazy about them needing the TV to quiet down and pass out but I personally don't mind right now since it gets them to sleep and things are quiet. We do have a new baby on the way... so I'm kind of choosing my battles and just "being the water not the rock" but I can't help but question if I've messed things up with the napping and if it's gonna bit me in the butt later.
First thought: Wow, your kids put themselves down for a nap! How great is that!
Second thought: Oh, yeah, screen time. Well, a lot of adults put themselves to sleep that way, and at least they aren't actually watching the movie.
Maybe see whether they'll do the same thing if they put on a CD of someone reading a story?
I do not think that having them independently choose to nap is letting them run the house. It shows how secure they feel at home. As long as they are still getting enough sleep at night and have age-appropriate self-control because they get enough sleep, you win big.
Divorced mom of one awesome boy born 2-3-2003.
It doesn't much matter what kind of nap habits your kids develop, because their napping days will soon be over. You're lucky to have a 4 year old who still naps. Letting them do something they like that also works well for you isn't letting them run the house at all. It's just smart parenting. Even if it wasn't working for you, giving up on trying to make them nap in their rooms might still be the best parenting choice. You can't make a kid go to sleep. And you shouldn't feel like you always have to insist on having things just the way you want them, even if your kids object. If you listen to what they want and are willing to compromise, you're modelling just the kind of behavior you'd like to see in them.
Don't feel bad about giving up on this battle. I gave up on it, too, once I had 2 kids (yeegads!). You are giving them one huge chunk of autonomy, and that will give them some feeling of control and will give you energy for the new baby and to stand your ground on the battles that are truly important.
No, you are not creating 2 hellions by letting them nap this way. I think it's great that you chose to let this one go.
Give me a few minutes while I caffeinate.
Wow, thank you for the feedback. I feel like I'm failing at most things parenting wise but I just try very hard to go with the flow and just do what seems to work. They are pretty well adjusted and independent as a result and I love that but I also often wonder if I've given too much room to choose freely (since our parents often make comments about how they don't just fall in line).
But really, we don't want kids that we've broken so that they "fall in line" like our parents seem to expect.
What you are failing at is sticking with the current "wisdom" of people who are not parents of *your* kids. You are failing at blindly sticking with advice that has turned out to be exhausting for you and your family, and promises to be more so in the future. You are failing at being so petrified of your house turning in Little Lord Fauntleroy-of-the-Flies that you stick to the conventions no matter what.
So you are failing. I wish more parents would be brave enough to fail as awesomely as you have.
Give me a few minutes while I caffeinate.
There's a podcast called Sparkle stories that you could put on your phone or an iPod if there's a way for them to listen without fighting over the gadget (like clock radio or speaker stands that plug in with the device).
Honestly, I would jump for joy if my daughter ever just fell asleep like that. And look in the sky for flying pigs. I think it's awesome that your kids can and will recognize their tiredness and allow themselves to fall asleep.
what do you do for night times? how available for them are you? what helps them fall asleep?
esp. with a baby coming they might have limited access to yourself.
The girls have a shared bedtime now. My youngest is weaning from night nursing currently. All week she's jumped to participate in sister story time instead of dry nursing.
When my 2nd was born my husband took over more bedtime & story time when i was with baby but we worked hard to spread my time evenly whenever possible.
|Sleep , Nap|