Radical Unschooling Self-Regulation - X posted in Unschooling - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
Old 07-28-2009, 01:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
MarineWife's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: on the edge
Posts: 11,391
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm cross-posting this on the Unschooling board because I'm not quite sure where it goes.

I do pretty well with letting my children self-regulate wrt eating and watching TV and all the other stuff that's really unimportant (to me) like appearance. I'm having a really hard time with when they go to sleep. If I don't turn the lights out and TV off and lay down with them, they will stay up quite late. My 2yo stays up until around 10 pm most nights and my 5yo is up until at least 11:00 or even midnight.

I don't really mind the actual time so much. The problem is that I'm tired. I want to go to bed to relax. I want just a little bit of peace and quiet. They want to keep on playing and being very loud and rambunctious. It is irritating me and I haven't been reacting to it very well.

I've taken to turning everything off by 11:00 so we can all go to sleep. I've found that if I do this, most of the time they will go right to sleep even at say 9:00. My 5yo is actually more likely to fall asleep more quickly even though he fusses more about it. So, I'm torn. I'm thinking that this is working for me and it doesn't cause any big struggles but it's not really self-regulation and my 5yo does express his displeasure about it.

Not sure what I'm looking for in posting this. Maybe some input on whether this is detrimental to the whole principle of RU. I can't go to sleep while they are still up. They are too loud and need some buffering/refereeing so they don't beat each other up sometimes. Plus, they won't let me go in my room by myself. When I go in my room to get some alone time they follow me. My 5yo insists on watching TV in there and will have a serious meltdown if I tell him to go in another room so that just won't work.

knit.gifSAHM to 3 boys and 1 man; 22 jammin.gif, 9REPlaySkateboard04HL.gif, 5 FIREdevil.gifand now 1 year oldtoddler.gif!

MarineWife is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 07-28-2009, 01:53 AM
 
smeisnotapirate's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Jerusalem, Israel
Posts: 5,738
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm not sure about the RU philosophy - I only have a 14mo, but it sounds perfectly reasonable to me to turn things off when you're tired. It affects your quality of life - and you're just as much a member of the household as the boys are. Look at it this way - if your 5yo was keeping your 2yo up by being rambunctious and watching TV in HIS room, you'd probably redirect and try to nip it in the bud, right? You have every right to give yourself the same allowance.

Sara caffix.gif, Keith 2whistle.gif, Toby 6/08superhero.gif, Nomi 4/10blahblah.gif, Mona 1/12 hammer.gif

 

Mama of three, lover, student rabbi, spoonie, friend, musician, narcoleptic, space muffin, pretty much a dragon. Crunchy like matzoh.

smeisnotapirate is offline  
Old 07-28-2009, 02:26 AM
 
DanAbimytwomiracle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 357
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I am not familiar with the RU philosophy, but honestly most kids do not do "self-regulating" very well. They need adult guidance for a reason, and that includes setting limits like putting the TV off, etc.
I find it critical to get some alone time so I am reste dmentally for the next day's challenges with my homeschooling brood.

Christine, mama to Daniel & Abby, 9 and Patrick, 4. Wife to a rockin' train engineer. Gluten and nightshade-free. Multiple kiddie food sensitivities.

DanAbimytwomiracle is offline  
Old 07-28-2009, 02:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
MarineWife's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: on the edge
Posts: 11,391
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I appreciate your response and your concern. I don't really want to turn this into a debate on RU but I doubt most people know any children who were allowed to truly self-regulate without any judgment so I don't think most people can say whether or not kids are good at it. Babies are pretty darn good at self-regulating so it seems silly to think that they lose that ability when they reach a certain age. More likely, the ability is taken away from them by adults. That's not what this post is about, anyway.

It's about my interference with my child's self-regulation. He's pretty darn good at it. He knows when he needs sleep or food or to use the toilet. He turns the TV and computer off when he's had enough. I don't want to interfere with that. I don't mind him watching TV in bed with me if he will sit and settle and be quiet. The problem is that he's still wanting to play. He likes to act out the shows he's watching sometimes. So, I guess, after typing all of that out, it's about how we can both get what we need/want without interfering too much with the other, which is the same I would do with my dp.

knit.gifSAHM to 3 boys and 1 man; 22 jammin.gif, 9REPlaySkateboard04HL.gif, 5 FIREdevil.gifand now 1 year oldtoddler.gif!

MarineWife is offline  
Old 07-28-2009, 03:11 AM
 
Roar's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 4,419
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarineWife View Post
Babies are pretty darn good at self-regulating so it seems silly to think that they lose that ability when they reach a certain age. More likely, the ability is taken away from them by adults. That's not what this post is about, anyway.
I'd say not all babies are the same. Mine got very, very overtired and would cry for long periods of time with no ability to either self regulate or accept comfort from others. Having a schedule (gently implemented just structure and rhythm to the day) allowed him to have the lived experience of feeling good so then he was able to self regulate. It helped him be able to recognize when he was tired before he was passing out or going into overcharge to keep himself going.

Your post raised a couple of questions for me.

1. How are you seeing the two year old self regulate? It seems like you are saying it is an option for a two year old to be left up playing around the house while you go to bed. Do you believe that's safe?

2. What is the evidence you see for the five year old self regulating about sleep? What you are describing to me sounds like watching TV and playing until you pass out which isn't really the same as having good self regulation, it is more like the body simply taking over when the kid has totally lost all steam.

3. You mentioned you are irritated and not handling it well. Does that mean yelling or what? Yelling is a pretty normal reaction to being overtired and not getting a break that's why I'm guessing that. To me when forced to weigh kids have a parent turn stuff off at 9 pm and they go to sleep pretty easily OR kids stay up later to learn self regulation and then get yelled at. I'm personally seeing the risk for damage from 9 pm as a lot less.
Roar is offline  
Old 07-28-2009, 03:12 AM
 
smeisnotapirate's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Jerusalem, Israel
Posts: 5,738
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think you're totally right - we strip control from our children *in general* and they forget how to self-regulate. I'm a huge proponent.

I'm assuming you've spoken to him about being quiet when you need to sleep. Did that make any impression? Maybe giving him a choice of sitting quietly with you in your room and watching TV or being louder in another room watching TV (I'm assuming you have more than one - I think you said that in your OP).

I just want to make sure you get some affirmation that YOUR needs (for sleep) are just as important as his need to self-regulate.

Sara caffix.gif, Keith 2whistle.gif, Toby 6/08superhero.gif, Nomi 4/10blahblah.gif, Mona 1/12 hammer.gif

 

Mama of three, lover, student rabbi, spoonie, friend, musician, narcoleptic, space muffin, pretty much a dragon. Crunchy like matzoh.

smeisnotapirate is offline  
Old 07-28-2009, 03:27 AM
2xy
 
2xy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 3,056
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by smeisnotapirate View Post
I just want to make sure you get some affirmation that YOUR needs (for sleep) are just as important as his need to self-regulate.
Yup.

That's basically my main issue with RU; the RU'ers I know tend to have this "the children can never be unhappy" mentality, and don't think of their family as a team where everyone matters. The parents are often doormats to the kids.

And that's why, despite the attempts of my RU friends, I cannot subscribe to the RU philosophy. I consider us to be unschoolers. My RU friends do not. Apparently, if you don't radically unschool, you aren't a real unschooler. My kids are not allowed to disregard me as a human being with needs and wants of my own. Yep, I said the evil words "not allowed."

You need sleep. Your kids need to learn that mama's needs are important, too.
2xy is offline  
Old 07-28-2009, 04:20 AM
 
happyhippy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 53
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xy View Post
Yup.

That's basically my main issue with RU; the RU'ers I know tend to have this "the children can never be unhappy" mentality, and don't think of their family as a team where everyone matters. The parents are often doormats to the kids.

And that's why, despite the attempts of my RU friends, I cannot subscribe to the RU philosophy. I consider us to be unschoolers. My RU friends do not. Apparently, if you don't radically unschool, you aren't a real unschooler. My kids are not allowed to disregard me as a human being with needs and wants of my own. Yep, I said the evil words "not allowed."

You need sleep. Your kids need to learn that mama's needs are important, too.
I could have written this!
Good luck mama! Hope you get some good sleep soon.
happyhippy is offline  
Old 07-28-2009, 11:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
MarineWife's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: on the edge
Posts: 11,391
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Ok, I'm afraid this thread is going to turn into a debate about the merits of RU, which is absolutely not what I wanted. I'm not going to address some posts because I don't feel the need to defend my parenting style. I'm not going to get into a discussion/debate about whether and how my children self-regulate. I know that they do. I see it every day. That's enough. I'm looking for ways that we can all get our needs/wants met without one of us trampling on the other.

I think I need to revise my initial post a little. I've been thinking about it more. The main issue isn't that I want to go to sleep. Both kids are usually asleep by the time I'm ready to go to sleep. I should've said in my initial post that I want to go to bed, not sleep. I like to sit in bed for a while and read or knit or watch TV quietly before laying my head down to go to sleep.

The main issue is that by about 9:00 pm I'm ready for quiet time. I have talked to ds about this. When I go into my room at night it's because I need a break, some quiet, no interruption for at least a few minutes. I have told him that I don't mind him watching TV in there with me if he is quiet and just sits and watches TV. My 2yo usually follows me and climbs into bed under the covers and says, "sleep." It so precious. Oh, btw, we all sleep in the same bed.

My 5yo does not like to be alone. One of the reasons he likes the TV on while he goes to sleep is because he's scared. He has never said he was scared while the TV is on but every time I turn it off he curls up really close to me and says he's scared. And, no, it's not an attempt to get me to turn the TV back on because he knows I won't. So, he won't stay in another room to watch TV while I'm in my room, either, especially after dark.

As I said in my 2nd post. This is not working out very well. 5yods gets loud and rambunctious. I ask him several times to settle down. He tries but then gets excited again and starts playing again. After a while I get fed up. I turn the TV off and say it's time to go to sleep. My ds gets very upset at first but it doesn't last long before he falls asleep. I think that's my sticking point, the fact that I just decide and do it. I guess maybe I don't just decide since I ask him to settle. I give him other choices.

knit.gifSAHM to 3 boys and 1 man; 22 jammin.gif, 9REPlaySkateboard04HL.gif, 5 FIREdevil.gifand now 1 year oldtoddler.gif!

MarineWife is offline  
Old 07-28-2009, 07:07 PM
 
esmejoy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: NY, NY
Posts: 80
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Have you considered getting rid of the TV? I don't have any particular experience with unschooling, radical or otherwise (my son is only 27 months), but I do think if you're taking into consideration everything that can affect one's ability to self-regulate you might want to really evaluate what role TV plays in your kids lives.

-esme
esmejoy is offline  
Old 07-28-2009, 07:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
MarineWife's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: on the edge
Posts: 11,391
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Nope, we have no interest in getting rid of the TV. We don't see as the evil beast that many seem to. It's just a thing, just like any other thing with equal value.

knit.gifSAHM to 3 boys and 1 man; 22 jammin.gif, 9REPlaySkateboard04HL.gif, 5 FIREdevil.gifand now 1 year oldtoddler.gif!

MarineWife is offline  
Old 07-29-2009, 12:08 AM
 
krystyn33's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: In the great green room
Posts: 771
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarineWife View Post
I'm looking for ways that we can all get our needs/wants met without one of us trampling on the other.

5yods gets loud and rambunctious. I ask him several times to settle down. He tries but then gets excited again and starts playing again. After a while I get fed up. I turn the TV off and say it's time to go to sleep. My ds gets very upset at first but it doesn't last long before he falls asleep. I think that's my sticking point, the fact that I just decide and do it. I guess maybe I don't just decide since I ask him to settle. I give him other choices.
Maybe you answered your question here? Clearly you act with respect for his needs, even as you assert your own in this situation. There are times when we need to make some amount of concessions/compromises (a different way of looking at it than "trampling on one another") to do the best we can to meet each other's needs in relationships.

As for self-regulating, based on your posts I imagine your children have ample opportunity to work on this in other areas/situations in your daily life. And, as a mature adult, I know that even I have a difficult time with mastery over my impulses and emotions when I am overtired. I confess I'm not completely RU in philosophy, but turning off the TV and offering choices of ways to meet his needs that are in line with meeting your needs (i.e. it is quiet time) doesn't seem to be infringing terribly on his existential freedom, especially for a tired child of such a young age. Perhaps you are already managing this particular circumstance as well as possible within your framework?
krystyn33 is offline  
Old 07-29-2009, 12:40 AM
 
ASusan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Midwest
Posts: 4,839
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Not a RU, but I do understand the philosophy and don't necessarily disagree with it.

Have you considered that television (artificial light) is a source of circadian dysregulation? Exposure to light in the evening suppresses the normal melatonin release in the evening and changes (delays) the onset of sleepiness.

This cite is wrt video games w/ either light or dark displays --

http://jap.physiology.org/cgi/conten...ract/94/5/1773

So, although you as a RU parent do not want to interfere with your sons' ability to self-regulate, exposure to artificial light is already interfering with that ability/process. The implication, I feel, is that it may take some parental intervention to bring your son's self-regulation ability back under his control.

DS, 10/07. Allergies: peanut, egg, wheat. We've added dairy back in. And taken it back out again. It causes sandpaper skin with itchy patches and thrashing during sleep. Due w/ #2 late April, 2012.

ASusan is offline  
Old 07-29-2009, 11:16 AM
 
sebandg'smama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Ontario
Posts: 699
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
From everything that I have read regarding sleep issues, the light of the tv stimulates the brain to be awake.

So in the way I wouldn't give my kids tons of junk food and expect them to be healthy, I wouldn't overstimulate them and expect them to settle down and sleep.

edit to add yeah that to Asusan, just read her post!
sebandg'smama is offline  
Old 07-29-2009, 11:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
MarineWife's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: on the edge
Posts: 11,391
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks. Yep, I know all about the TV as a stimulant that might disrupt sleep. My kids are not sleep-deprived, though, as I've said already. This isn't a sleep issue. It's a conflict of desires between me and my ds.

Last night was much better. DS did come to bed with me but he sat quietly looking up frogs, frog eggs and tadpoles on the computer. He collected a bunch of tadpoles yesterday and is trying to figure out how to raise them until they become frogs. Anyway, it was nice and quiet and calm and there was no fuss when I wanted to turn everything off and go to sleep.

Maybe the key, as always, is that it takes a while for things to work themselves out. I need to stop expecting him to understand what I want the first time. Shoot, my dh can't even do that most days and he's got a lot more life experience. I also need to keep in mind that he is only 5 years old and doesn't have the experience and skills that I do for dealing with different situations so I'm the one who needs to make more concessions.

knit.gifSAHM to 3 boys and 1 man; 22 jammin.gif, 9REPlaySkateboard04HL.gif, 5 FIREdevil.gifand now 1 year oldtoddler.gif!

MarineWife is offline  
Old 07-29-2009, 11:53 PM
 
jennpn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 48
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarineWife View Post
Nope, we have no interest in getting rid of the TV. We don't see as the evil beast that many seem to. It's just a thing, just like any other thing with equal value.
Not to be "debaty" but if you look at studies done about children who watch television before bed especially the types of programs it definatly interfers with their ability to sleep well afterwards. We don't do much tv at all becuase in homeschooling I want our children to EXPERIANCE. The television is not an experiance it not a multisensory experiance and very minimal is learned effectivly from it. What is learned you probably could have taught more effectivly and faster with other means. Just another perspective...

I have a question about self regulation, I will look into it more as I am for the most part unfamiliar with it, it SOUNDS like it is a fancy name for justifying letting your kids do whatever the heck they want to. I think as a parent my role is to deliver consequence that is softer then a natural life consequence that would be unfair to allow them to recieve considering their development was perhaps not advanced enough to allow the forethought nessasary to make the right choice. This is why as a parent I guide choices, set examples and bounderies and my child securely acts within them, as his development increases I widen those bounderies. My question in SR then is what if your child is NOT effectily doing so? What if they are continuing to get hurt, eat poorly and act innapropriatly. Do you let them break their arm, cease to gain weight and get negative feedback from peers as natural consequence or do you step in? How can one be sure that they have the foresight at a particular age to even gage a particular negative consequence came from a choice they made as some natural life consequences are not immediate or obvious to the immature mind.

I am genuinly curious about this perspective, I am not debating.
Thanks!
jennpn is offline  
Old 07-30-2009, 12:58 AM
 
bonbon mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: America's Northern Shore
Posts: 540
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarineWife View Post

Maybe the key, as always, is that it takes a while for things to work themselves out. I need to stop expecting him to understand what I want the first time. Shoot, my dh can't even do that most days and he's got a lot more life experience. I also need to keep in mind that he is only 5 years old and doesn't have the experience and skills that I do for dealing with different situations so I'm the one who needs to make more concessions.
Yes! Every discussion must be repeated in the future before change happens; especially with such a young crowd. There will still probably be a need for a refresher on your needs regarding bedtime.
bonbon mama is offline  
 
User Tag List

Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off