O.M.G...help...they dumped every food out in the living room.... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 164 Old 01-19-2007, 10:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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While I slept this morning, my kids dumped out about 3 bags of flour, 6 boxes of (new cereal), the (new) big bag of oatmeal, my coffee, and who knows what else all over my living room floor. WTF??? I don't even know what to do with them let alone where to start cleaning it! : They obviously have to help, but there have to be other (logical/natural) consequences...WWYD? They honestly have wasted close to $100 in food.

http://www.kodakgallery.com/Slidesho...Uy=775aq3&Ux=0

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#2 of 164 Old 01-19-2007, 10:50 AM
 
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I"m sorry you have a mess to clean up. With my kids it wouldn't have been safe for me to be sleeping while they were awake at 4 and 2. My 6 year old very occasionally gets ups .5 hour ahead of me...well, I'm awake, but still talking to the 2 year old. I'm not really "up" until my glasses are on.

Also, my 6 and 2 year old both still need me to make breakfast for them when they get up.

I think the natural consequence is that you have to salvage what food you can and get up to hang out with your kids in the morning. Personally, I wouldn't clean it up until I'd had some coffee and breakfast myself.

Hope you all have sweet cozy morning.
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#3 of 164 Old 01-19-2007, 10:51 AM
 
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OMG!

First, I would make them help clean it up-After 5 minutes of that, they will be sorry they made that mess! But stick with it and make them clean the whole living room up.

Other than that I can't give you any other GD advice I am sure I would have had a screaming fit. (In all honesty.)

*Hugs* wow. I think the most my kids ever did was like drag all the blankets and pillows and couch cushions out and throw them all over the living room....

Please do let us know how you handle this.
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#4 of 164 Old 01-19-2007, 10:56 AM
 
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Wow. That is a mess!

Did they sneak out of bed? I'd say that you can't be too irritated with them because they were unattended. But,they should still help you clean up!
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#5 of 164 Old 01-19-2007, 11:00 AM
 
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WOW! i know i like to sleep in a bit to and useally my kids are great.. sometimes they get everything out but not like that...
i would probably ( and i admit i am not the best at GD) of lost it and yelled at them and sent them to there rooms with doors closed ... i find cleaning up my self is a lot easier for me. if they where helping i would get more frustrated and yell a lot more.

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#6 of 164 Old 01-19-2007, 11:02 AM
 
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Oh, wow! Yikes. I imagine walking in to find that and feeling very frustrated, overwhelmed, disappointed and angry.

I can only tell you what I imagine I would do. First, I'd remind myself that my kids weren't trying to be malicious, but were having fun--and what a sensory experience that must have been! They are little, and really don't think about consequences like we adults do, and can't control their impulses like we adults do. Second, I'd talk to my kids, tell them how I feel about that mess and the wasted food, and tell them we need to make sure that doesn't happen again. Third, we'd clean up together. I think this is really the only natural consequence aside from my obvious disapproval/unhappiness. Finally, I'd make a plan as to how to avoid that ever happening again--putting items like that where they can't be reached, giving them time to play with such items while supervised (and in the kitchen or outside), making sure that either I am not asleep while they are up or that they have things to occupy them while I sleep that are not so messy (and possibly containing them in a safe area while I sleep, with a gate), or whatever other solution I could come up with. I'd likely involve the children in coming up with a solution to prevent that from happening again, asking them for ideas. This is the same process I've used when any of my children have done their toddler thing of pouring out cereal/other single item onto the floor-and while simply pouring out cereal or anther single item is obviously on a much smaller scale, I think it's basically the same issue. This has worked for us, I've never had a child repeat dumping, though I am wary of taking credit for that (perhaps they just got it out of their systems in that one episode). I think a process like this is much more likely to teach them what I want them to learn than coming up with other consequences would be, though I too would feel the urge to come up with a list of unpleasant consequences. That is just what I would do.

I hope your day gets better. And I hope you have a shop-vac, or can rent/borrow one.
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#7 of 164 Old 01-19-2007, 11:02 AM
 
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Oh, man, that is awful! Poor you guys! I'd start with picking up the packaging, and then use the vaccum nozzle to suck up what I could without rubbing. Looks like there is OJ there as well. After you vaccum, put towels around the wet stuff to get up what you can.

They seem to be very spirited. Maybe a baby monitor in your room? Amplified giggling might have tipped you off.

That would make me cry, but it is a good photo op.
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#8 of 164 Old 01-19-2007, 11:11 AM
 
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That would make me cry, but it is a good photo op.
And someday you will laugh about it. When I was little I was left alone for a couple of minutes on my aunt's bed after my bath. When my mom returned I had dumped a whole container of powder allllllll over myself and the bed! My brother was worse, he got into a huge bag of flour in my grandmother's pantry, and while my mom was cleaning that up, he got into the ashes in the fireplace. Spread them all over the living room. Talk about a mess. We still get teased about these stories.

P.S. I just looked at the pic and noticed the little legs on the couch in the background... I think I would have packed the kids up and left and hoped that fairies cleaned it up while I was gone.

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#9 of 164 Old 01-19-2007, 11:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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They are cleaning it up. Yeah, there was lots of yelling but when I really got mad I left the room...lol. Part of me, honestly, wanted to laugh...it was like something out of a sitcom. They are using spoons and buckets and bowls to shovel it all up.

FWIW, DS has always been an early riser and has gotten up without me for ages. He turns on the tv and I get a little more much needed z's. DH gets up soon after him to get ready for work, then leaves at about 6:30. THere have been messes before, yes, but this is above and beyond any acceptable range. At almost 5, my DS KNOWS this is wrong.

We normally get to go to playgroup this morning, but they are not going anywhere, watching any tv, playing on the computer, playing in general, eating any sweets, NOTHING until the room is clean. Obviously, my little DD has less responsibility in this than he does, but I'm getting her to clean too. Sure it would be faster if I did it...but what kind of impression would that leave? So they are doing it themselves with some direction from me. DS can vaccuum once he digs up enough inches of flour to do so. Of course, I will have to clean deeper when they are done, but I see no reason why they can't do the bulk of it. A lesson has to be learned here somewhere.

When I said there was nothing for me to eat for breakfast, they thought I should just go to the store and buy more. So of course no concept of money and cost, etc. Which is understandable at this age. I'm so mad though that I am considering making them pick a couple of toys to ebay to pay for the food...is that too much do you think? Is taking responsibility and cleaning enough? I just feel that they really need to understand what a big deal this all is.

Amy, USCG wife and homeschooling, ebfing, homebirthing Mama to M (8), L (6), L (2.5)
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#10 of 164 Old 01-19-2007, 11:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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That would make me cry, but it is a good photo op.
Yeah, I'm getting pictures LOL. My DD looked like a ghost for a bit there. Picture two kids in undies and shoes cleaning flour...

Thank G-D they did not dump any liquids out, just the powders, mixes, and other dry goods!!!! I know they were having fun doing it and not trying to be malicious...but geesh!!!

Amy, USCG wife and homeschooling, ebfing, homebirthing Mama to M (8), L (6), L (2.5)
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#11 of 164 Old 01-19-2007, 11:18 AM
 
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Wow! Well, I agree with all sledge said + a natural consequence here would be that not every item is replaced straight away. I mean, I'm not saying that they should go without food, but then for a few days there will be fewer breakfast choices. Not in a punitive way. But then I would not go out of my way to replace every item within the day either. Like for felter pens, often leaving them uncapped will mean that they dry out, and while I try to help them remember, sometimes I forget myself and it does happen that we find that quite a few colours are gone, and I will buy another box of course but not straight away this minute.
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#12 of 164 Old 01-19-2007, 11:18 AM
 
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OMG. I would be pissed. So pissed. I have no helpful suggestions really. But I think it's fine to let them know you are pissed, and make them at least help clean it up. I personally wouldn't let mine do a single fun thing until the mess was fixed. And I wouldn't feel a bit bad for sleeping - sometimes you gotta sleep, and if they know better, it's not your fault at all IMO.

I would get locks for the cupboard in future.
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#13 of 164 Old 01-19-2007, 11:22 AM
 
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I'm so mad though that I am considering making them pick a couple of toys to ebay to pay for the food...is that too much do you think?
I probably wouldn't go there, though I might "redirect" money that was to be spent on a treat to replace the wasted food, and explain to them right away that that's what will happen. Even if it's just that you don't buy some favourite snack the next time you go shopping--it won't cover all the cost of the food but it does help show them that there's only a limited amount of money and if you have to spend it on one thing, it's not there for something else.
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#14 of 164 Old 01-19-2007, 11:24 AM
 
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Yeah, I wouldn't ebay the toys either. Although I can definitely understand the inclination! I would be furious, I can totally relate to feeling really angry. I would be beside myself with fury.

Take a breath, and wait a few days. Don't jump the gun too much mama, I don't think they'll make the connection with the toys, and for mine she would be devastated. *Too* devastated, I wouldn't feel good.

to you.
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#15 of 164 Old 01-19-2007, 11:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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P.S. I just looked at the pic and noticed the little legs on the couch in the background... I think I would have packed the kids up and left and hoped that fairies cleaned it up while I was gone.
You would have gotten to see the food covered, very-proud-of what-they'd-done children as well, except they were naked so I didn't want it floating around the web like that LOL!!!!


You are all probably right about the toys...I'm just MAD...LOL. I DO like the idea of not buying a fun snack or something though. And not having as much cereal around this next week for breakfast choices.

Amy, USCG wife and homeschooling, ebfing, homebirthing Mama to M (8), L (6), L (2.5)
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#16 of 164 Old 01-19-2007, 11:30 AM
 
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This is not said in a harsh tone. But if you are driving and not paying attention and you have an accident, you can't blame the road.

I'm really glad that you are all safe. The lesson here is that you need to get up with your kids.

I would look around my house and be glad I'm not dead with my children. I have a gas stove. I have water that can scald. I have toxic chemicals.

I'd be grateful the house wasn't blown up, hug my children and figure that I needed to go to bed earlier. I would not assume I could sleep in without someone watching my kids.

I would take responsibility for my failure to supervise my 4 year old (not 5 for 4 more months if I do my math right, so let's say 4 and 2/3) and 2 year old toddler. 4 year olds are not renowned for their impulse control.

If I had a preschool teacher leave my 4 year old alone and be mad that he messed up the room, I'd dismiss the teacher. I have higher standards for myself.
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#17 of 164 Old 01-19-2007, 11:32 AM
 
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I think some people underestimate children.
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#18 of 164 Old 01-19-2007, 11:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Comparing my children to a road is a bit off, don't you think? They are thinking feeling beings, by golly, they KNOW not to do what they did. On that note, my DS would not touch something like the stove...he knows it is dangerous. Something that is dangerous is very different from something that is fun and messy. Dozing in bed or not, I could HEAR my children so I knew they were not in harm's way...I just did not realize they were dumping out all my food. Rattling bags normally indicate eating a snack on the couch.

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#19 of 164 Old 01-19-2007, 11:44 AM
 
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Thinking about it, I think it depends on your child. I have a friend with a 5 year old, and she could *not* leave him alone for any length of time - for sure he would be dumping everything everywhere, or running out of the house and onto the road, or something else like that.

OTOH my 3 year old on Sunday mornings goes out to the living room herself to watch TV - I leave the TV on the kids' channel and she knows how to turn it on. I would be absolutely *shocked* if she dumped my food everywhere or did something else crazy like that. She is just not that kind of child, and if she dumped the food everywhere it would be absolutely intentional, with full knowledge that doing so is not remotely cool. Not saying it would never happen, but if it did it would not be an issue of simple lack of impulse control, as it would be with my friend's son.

We make our decisions in our lives based on our own situations and our own children, and I don't think this is something where we can judge across the internet.
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#20 of 164 Old 01-19-2007, 11:44 AM
 
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Here's a study the examines 4-6 year old children's recall for home safety rules:

http://jpepsy.oxfordjournals.org/cgi.../full/26/2/105
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#21 of 164 Old 01-19-2007, 11:45 AM
 
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I would not sell their toys. For one, the 2 yr old is too small, and for another they were unsupervised. I know this happens, and some kids are quick and get away from us, but he's only 4 and needs adult supervision. He has some impulse issues, right, if my memory serves? He hurts his sister sometimes? (Was that you saying that...I get confusion. lol If that's not you, sorry).

At any rate, 4 yr olds may 'know' something, but can't always control themselves. Plus, from a consensual living standpoint, were you telling the truth about there being no food at all left in the house for you to eat something? I'd be careful going down that road. Although if it's true, it's true. But guilt trips aren't really the way to go.

I am not saying this is a good thing they did, or that you should laugh and tell them how cute they are, but I think helping to clean it up is enough for their age. And now you know they can't be trusted to control themselves. That time will come, but it's not now.

And I agree..little children can set a house on fire if we're not watching... even if we think they are only watching TV.
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#22 of 164 Old 01-19-2007, 11:45 AM
 
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Hugs WOW I can honestly say that might have push me over the edge. (even though I know it would resolve nothing) mostly cause right now were still in "winter lombo" the period of time between Christmas break and start of new semester where DH doesn't get any pay cause hes adjunct. Soo I'd be seriously crying as there would be no way for me to replace the food.
Anyways just a personal reflection I agree though with not being able to repace treats too soon. I'd also talk with them about making ammends..
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I would take responsibility for my failure to supervise my 4 year old (not 5 for 4 more months if I do my math right, so let's say 4 and 2/3) and 2 year old toddler. 4 year olds are not renowned for their impulse control.
I fully expect my 4 year old to not do that (and I also fully expect she could ) Plus kids work fast very fast. I'm not sure where the OP is living so what her "true time" was but here the post time stamp is 6:03am thats hardly sleeping in

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#23 of 164 Old 01-19-2007, 11:51 AM
 
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Comparing my children to a road is a bit off, don't you think? They are thinking feeling beings, by golly, they KNOW not to do what they did. On that note, my DS would not touch something like the stove...he knows it is dangerous. Something that is dangerous is very different from something that is fun and messy. Dozing in bed or not, I could HEAR my children so I knew they were not in harm's way...I just did not realize they were dumping out all my food. Rattling bags normally indicate eating a snack on the couch.

Sweetie-- they might have 'known' they shouldn't be doing something, but they did it. They are too young to have the impulse control to not do something, even when they 'know'.

You do not know if they will someday touch the stove. You can't say that for sure. A child might 'know' something is dangerous, just like he 'knew' he should not be dumping food, but a child can convince himslef that he can do something in a safe way, and then, boom, there is oatmeal on the floor, or oatmeal being heated up in a pot...

They *really* do *not* know. The giant mess they are cleaning up gives testament to that. Some kids can out wit us. You can't blame them for 100% of this. They are only children. And I'm not lecturing. I'm just speaking from experience.
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#24 of 164 Old 01-19-2007, 11:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah, that was me with the rough DS. Though I must say, I've implemented some other things lately and it has gotten better. I just feel that this is more than impulse, considering it took several trips to the cupboard to get all this food! One carton, I could understand. Sure, maybe I should not have been laying in bed. I haven't slept the night in over 5 years...I have found that lounging in bed a little longer when I can makes me a much more patient and nicer mama. So I guess I deserve a CPS visit. Shoot me for sleeping in once in a while!!!

Oh and I know they are still young with impulse issues...otherwise there would be more consequences than cleaning LOL. And I would have been a lot madder. I don't think I'd have had the same reaction if they were say 8 and 6...

It's amazing how the tattling instinct disappears when you are having fun dumping food everywhere!

Obviously, changes will have to made in the house about how we do things in the mornings. I don't deny that. I mostly just want input on the best way to discipline in this situation. I really am mostly into PREVENTING this type of situation than correcting after the fact!!

Amy, USCG wife and homeschooling, ebfing, homebirthing Mama to M (8), L (6), L (2.5)
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#25 of 164 Old 01-19-2007, 11:58 AM
 
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Yeah, that was me with the rough DS. Though I must say, I've implemented some other things lately and it has gotten better. I just feel that this is more than impulse, considering it took several trips to the cupboard to get all this food! One carton, I could understand. Sure, maybe I should not have been laying in bed. I haven't slept the night in over 5 years...I have found that lounging in bed a little longer when I can makes me a much more patient and nicer mama. So I guess I deserve a CPS visit. Shoot me for sleeping in once in a while!!!
I totally get where you are coming from, I do exactly the same thing, and I agree that it is not simple impulse control.

Of course, knowing this I would now not give them the opportunity, as I'm sure you won't either. But it doesn't mean you have to feel crappy about it, or get up the very second they do either. Sometimes people want to almost punish the mama, or at least ignore/negate mama's needs and shame us for trying to meet them. Not cool IMO. I would make the little buggers help clean up, let them know I am *pissed*, and get a lock for the cupboard.

Another . I looked at that pic again, and you need as many s as you can get!
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#26 of 164 Old 01-19-2007, 11:59 AM
 
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Oh my gosh! I think I would have yelled, cried, and yelled some more. And definitely made them clean it up. *sigh* I'm sorry this happened.

I can leave my 5 and three year old alone while I shower or sleep. If I've had a particularly rough night 5 year old even watches my 20 month old while I doze in my bed. Sometimes they make messes, sometimes not. But if my dc's made a mess like that I would be so upset. They do know better And noone can say what anyone else's child is capable of doing.

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#27 of 164 Old 01-19-2007, 12:00 PM
 
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Now, now, nobody is saying call CPS! Shoot her! :

My thoughts are centered around not putting the blame on soley on the children. They couldn't help themselves, and now they are cleaning it up. Case closed.

I don't think they should be 'punished' any more than I think you should get a visit from CPS.

What's done is done and now you know what they are capable of if you sleep past 4 am. : You absolutely have all my sympathies! This parenting gig is tought and I suck when sleep deprived. I cry. It's not good, I am not pretty. 6am is an ungodly hour to get up, and I hate it. Hence, my experience in this area of children getting away from us. :
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#28 of 164 Old 01-19-2007, 12:11 PM
 
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I can leave my 5 and three year old alone while I shower or sleep. If I've had a particularly rough night 5 year old even watches my 20 month old while I doze in my bed.
Wow lucky you.... my kids will never never let us sleep in. If we are in bed, they're in our bed, too. Pretending to be trying to go back to sleep with proven methods such as laughing, poking, tickling one another and us as well, kicking .... well, after a while it winds up being a game between myself and dh who can stand this longer gets to sleep in, the other takes the kids to the kitchen and starts breakfast... so from now on, instead of complaining that I never get to sleep in, I will try to picture the living room of the OP....and consider myself lucky about their insistence that the parents get up at the same time they do....
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#29 of 164 Old 01-19-2007, 12:15 PM
 
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: : is this a joke? How would one sleep thru this?????

If this happend at my house (which it wouldn't unless a rabid squirrel was set free w/ us being duct taped up...) the FIRST thing to happen would be a lesson on every swear word I've learned being a fisherman's daughter. Then I would do a priamal scream in the middle of the room while glaring at the little demons (how many of them were there? 29?). And then I would have to go call someone (my mother, my dh, grandmother??) to come and remove the children from my sight while I cleaned and scrubbed (well, my ds is 3 1/2... so his "helping" would be way more annoying then him going away) the mess and went out to rob a bank to replace the food.:
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#30 of 164 Old 01-19-2007, 12:16 PM
 
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Allowing a four year old to spend his mornings unsupervised is a risk. Going through life sleep deprived is a greater risk imho. Regularly denying oneself sleep can lead to falling asleep at the wheel, short attention span and distraction in the kitchen and other dangerous place, irritability, health problems. I don't have a link, but I remember a study that demonstrated that sleep deprivation causes normal adults to repond physiologically like very old people. Mental state can mirror the progress of dementia.

I"m hardly a picture of good sleep health, but to suggest that the OP must get up long before she has had enough sleep is imho wrong-headed. I remember that recently an MDC family lost two children in an auto accident to parental sleep deprivation. An adult who uses the stove regularly is far more likely to leave the gas on when unable to function well due to sleep deprivation than a child who might forget that he's not allowed to touch the stove but doesn't touch the stove on a regular basis anyway.

I get that sleeping in can be simply a luxury, but for most of us, sleeping past 4 am in not a luxury, it is a physiological need that can be dangerous to deny and of certainty will be detrimental to our health to deny.

ITA with the baby monitor idea, maybe door buzzer accompanied by rules about staying in the bedroom until mama is up-then when they can't stop themselves from leaving the room the door buzzer wakes you up.
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