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#1 of 10 Old 08-27-2010, 12:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I get it, I really do. And I want to be able to have it work for us. But I just don't think it is. I am seriously sleep-deprived because the kids right now are both free to go to bed 'when their body tells them to' which for both of them is not until I do. Well, I need to get things done at some point. Like, you know, pay bills. Read a book. Take 10 minutes to massage some lotion on myself. Basically, I think that a little more structure would benefit all of us. For example, DS's personal hygiene is not great. He rarely combs his hair or brushes his teeth. His hair is long, and if he doesn't brush it regularly, he gets massive rat-tails, which neither of us enjoy combing out.

I feel that having a more structured morning, where he gets up, brushes his teeth, combs his hair, and then gets to help make breakfast (which he enjoys) would be wonderful. But if I'm 'making' him do these things, I feel like I'm forcing my will on him, rather than letting him decide when these things need done. On the other hand, isn't it our job as parents to lead our children in good, healthy directions and habits?

Bedtime is another issue. DS doesn't go to bed until I do. And then at bedtime, he wants me to be with him for literally hours. I don't have the energy for it. DD is 15 months and still wakes frequently in the night to BF, (we're working on that, too) so I am always tired.

Additionally, having more planned activities would be good for the kids also, as they are highly social. However, DS only ever wants to go to the park or have play dates. When I suggest something like the library, taking Pukulan (which a couple of his friends also do), music lessons (he's totally into music) or anything else even remotely 'like school' he wants nothing to do with it. His favorite thing to say is 'that's like school, I don't want to do it!' Or, 'that reminds me too much of school, I'm not doing it!'

So, anyway, I guess I'm just asking for feedback, for your thoughts on this. Thanks in advance

Me,yummy.gif   DS, Peace.gif and DDdust.gif Grateful to the baby I lost for sticking around long enough to teach me what I needed to know so badly  candle.gif  We  love our forest valley home, our goats and chickenschicken3.gif, and wild harvested food-medicine coolshine.gif

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#2 of 10 Old 08-27-2010, 01:25 AM
 
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Originally Posted by BabyMae09 View Post
I get it, I really do. And I want to be able to have it work for us. But I just don't think it is. I am seriously sleep-deprived because the kids right now are both free to go to bed 'when their body tells them to' which for both of them is not until I do. Well, I need to get things done at some point. Like, you know, pay bills. Read a book. Take 10 minutes to massage some lotion on myself. Basically, I think that a little more structure would benefit all of us. For example, DS's personal hygiene is not great. He rarely combs his hair or brushes his teeth. His hair is long, and if he doesn't brush it regularly, he gets massive rat-tails, which neither of us enjoy combing out.

I feel that having a more structured morning, where he gets up, brushes his teeth, combs his hair, and then gets to help make breakfast (which he enjoys) would be wonderful. But if I'm 'making' him do these things, I feel like I'm forcing my will on him, rather than letting him decide when these things need done. On the other hand, isn't it our job as parents to lead our children in good, healthy directions and habits?

Bedtime is another issue. DS doesn't go to bed until I do. And then at bedtime, he wants me to be with him for literally hours. I don't have the energy for it. DD is 15 months and still wakes frequently in the night to BF, (we're working on that, too) so I am always tired.

Additionally, having more planned activities would be good for the kids also, as they are highly social. However, DS only ever wants to go to the park or have play dates. When I suggest something like the library, or anything else even remotely 'like school' he wants nothing to do with it. His favorite thing to say is 'that's like school, I don't want to do it!' Or, 'that reminds me too much of school, I'm not doing it!'

So, anyway, I guess I'm just asking for feedback, for your thoughts on this. Thanks in advance


Momma, from what you've said... I think you already know the answers!
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#3 of 10 Old 08-27-2010, 02:58 AM
 
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Unschooling is a spectrum. We each pick and choose where on the spectrum we feel most comfortable.

I'm okay with my son (4.5) staying up later than I'd like...to a point. I just made him go to bed. I told him he could read books there, but he needs his sleep and I need the kid-free time. I'm not forcing an 8:00 bedtime on him and tonight I let him stay up later since he took a nap today, but there comes a point when I need him in bed.

Teethbrushing and bathing...non-negotiable. Sugary foods...limited to one a day (though he gets to choose what, within reason, and when.)

Screen time. We set limits on that as well.

We're not draconian about any of it, but we do put limits that will hopefully take care of their health needs while teaching them good habits and hopefully giving them the wiggle room to make a lot of their own choices. As they get older we'll relax on all of this, but at this young age we do have limits.

Created an instant family (7/89 and 5/91) in 1997. Made a baby boy 12/05 adopted a baby girl 8/08. Ask me about tandem adoptive nursing. Now living as gluten, dairy, cane sugar, and tomato free vegetarians. Homeschooling and loving it.

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#4 of 10 Old 08-27-2010, 03:23 AM
 
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You could set a "bed room" time instead of a bedtime. The time they have to go to their room every night but are free to stay awake or go to sleep... without you.


Say instead of 10pm "lights out go to sleep", it's 10pm go to your room and stay there unless you have to go to the bathroom. If you want mommy to do anything it has to happen at 9:30-10:00. At 10pm it's "mommy/adult/magic/whatever" time and you are free to do whatever as long as it is in your room.




Seriously work on the sleep deprivation of you FIRST and then worry about all the other stuff. You cant function as a zombie or do anything awesome or come up with awesome ideas as one. One thing at a time. You have years to "solve" the other problems! Good luck!

Resistance is futile Matey
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#5 of 10 Old 08-27-2010, 08:58 AM
 
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Unschooling doesn't mean never giving information or making suggestions or pointing things out to them. Since your ds's hair tangles bother HIM, why not suggest to him a regular time to comb every day?Tie it to something else he does every day, so it's easier to remember.

There's a huge difference between "making him" and reminding him. My ds also has long hair, and I know the knots you speak of! I remind him to comb his hair, I offer to help him with it, and I've pointed out that if he lets it go, he'll get those knots he hates. I wouldn't demand he do it, or punish him, or make him cut it, but giving information and offering help is a GOOD thing, in my book.

You should also have the time to yourself that you need. I've always had kids who didn't want to go to bed before I did. When they were younger (and still with my 10y/o) I explained that I needed some "settling down time" before I went to bed--I asked that they end the wildness at a certain hour, find something quiet to do so that I could read or whatever. When they were young enough to need my assistance, I'd get them settled in pjs, and with a snack or drink or whatever they needed first. It didn't guarantee that I wouldn't get interupted, but it worked pretty well. AND it helped them to get to sleep when they did go to bed because they weren't all fired up from playing.

Does your ds want you to stay with him until he's asleep? Could you bring your book or bills or whatever to his room to work on while he goes to sleep? Could you put his bed in your room so that you're close by while you both go to sleep?

I'm not clear on whether the issues center around just your ds or not--honestly, I don't remember there being a whole lot of "me time" when I had a baby toddling around so part of the stress could be simply life with a babe, yk? Does your youngest nap?

Quote:
I feel that having a more structured morning, where he gets up, brushes his teeth, combs his hair, and then gets to help make breakfast (which he enjoys) would be wonderful.
Have you suggested this to him?

Quote:
When I suggest something like the library, or anything else even remotely 'like school' he wants nothing to do with it. His favorite thing to say is 'that's like school, I don't want to do it!' Or, 'that reminds me too much of school, I'm not doing it!'
From what I've seen, this is pretty common in kids who have been to school.

My oldest went through a period like this when we pulled him out of school. Even now, formal classes don't usually interest him. At this point, I don't know how much of this is just his personality and how much is his school experience. But I've stopped worrying over it. He's very much a self-taught person--one example, he knows a great deal about history--but has never taken a class. His knowledge comes from reading, watching documentaries, going to museums and talking to veterans and older people. So, there are plenty of ways to learn even when you avoid "schoolish" stuff.

OTOH, your ds might just need some time before he's able to drop the association between schoolish things and the rest of life.

What kinds of outings have you suggested so far? Maybe you could find some outings that DON'T remind him of school--a music festival? An art show? A nature hike?

Single Mom to 3 (12, 17 & 21)  luxlove.gif and dog2.gif.

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#6 of 10 Old 08-27-2010, 07:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Thystle View Post
You could set a "bed room" time instead of a bedtime. The time they have to go to their room every night but are free to stay awake or go to sleep... without you.


Say instead of 10pm "lights out go to sleep", it's 10pm go to your room and stay there unless you have to go to the bathroom. If you want mommy to do anything it has to happen at 9:30-10:00. At 10pm it's "mommy/adult/magic/whatever" time and you are free to do whatever as long as it is in your room.




Seriously work on the sleep deprivation of you FIRST and then worry about all the other stuff. You cant function as a zombie or do anything awesome or come up with awesome ideas as one. One thing at a time. You have years to "solve" the other problems! Good luck!
Thank you for this post Thanks most of all for giving me permission to put my sleep needs first

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Originally Posted by SagMom View Post

Have you suggested this to him?



From what I've seen, this is pretty common in kids who have been to school.

My oldest went through a period like this when we pulled him out of school. Even now, formal classes don't usually interest him. At this point, I don't know how much of this is just his personality and how much is his school experience. But I've stopped worrying over it. He's very much a self-taught person--one example, he knows a great deal about history--but has never taken a class. His knowledge comes from reading, watching documentaries, going to museums and talking to veterans and older people. So, there are plenty of ways to learn even when you avoid "schoolish" stuff.

OTOH, your ds might just need some time before he's able to drop the association between schoolish things and the rest of life.

What kinds of outings have you suggested so far? Maybe you could find some outings that DON'T remind him of school--a music festival? An art show? A nature hike?
No, I haven't suggested it I guess that would be a good place to start, eh? Thanks also for your feedback about outings/school complaints

Me,yummy.gif   DS, Peace.gif and DDdust.gif Grateful to the baby I lost for sticking around long enough to teach me what I needed to know so badly  candle.gif  We  love our forest valley home, our goats and chickenschicken3.gif, and wild harvested food-medicine coolshine.gif

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#7 of 10 Old 08-27-2010, 08:11 PM
 
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Yes, get some sleep mama s I was there earlier this year and it was not good.

My children do so much better (happier) on a rountine and with some planned activities. I think it is just their personality. (But I am not trying to radically unschool )

I am not strict on a bedtime (it is usually between 9-10 right now), but with my 6 yo he just needs to be doing something quietly in his room with the light on lower (so he does not get stimulated by the bright light). He likes etch-a-sketch and looking at books.

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#8 of 10 Old 08-28-2010, 01:27 AM
 
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isn't it our job as parents to lead our children in good, healthy directions and habits?


Yes, it is.

Crunchy check list:  2 homebirths (one accidental UC!), co-slept, no CIO, cloth diapers, home/un school, raw milk drinker (!) I am a walking cliche!! I even blog and knit...
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#9 of 10 Old 08-28-2010, 08:47 PM
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i think that the steiner concept of rhythms is awesome. i practically live and die by the concept, because honestly, it makes my life great because there is a time for everything.

ours is becoming more musical as DS gets older (he's now 2), and it also encourages him to do various activities such as brushing his teeth. I know that your DS is older, so it may not work, but you never know.

the other thing about the rhythm is that you just do what you need to do. you are not ignoring your child, but you are creating boundaries around when he has your fullest attention and when he does not because there are other things to attend to. And, btw, this teaches him about life's work, which all of us have to do.

now, with bedtime, as a pp mentioned, bedroom time will likely do. but there are a few things i would work out. 1. create a ritual. this is a archetypal signal of change, and we have a bed time ritual involving a candle. DS *loves* it. he talks about it quite frequently with anyone who will listen. LOL 2. give him assurance so you don't have to stay there.

this second process is one that is a bit tougher, but it's like this. you do the bed time ritual, and he is in bed. then, you move to a quiet activity next to his bed (no talking) such as mending or knitting or just nursing the other one or what have you. on the first day, you get up and leave the room--literally for a moment--and then come back. you get up, walk out of the room, count to five, return, and go back to whatever you were doing quietly (btw, i meditate). stay there until he drops off to sleep.

on the next night, leave, go to the toilet or get a glass of water (a few minutes--3-5), and return. stay until he's asleep. on the third night, leave for a bit longer (say 10 minutes), and return. on the fourth night, a little longer, 12-15 minutes, then return. on the fifth night, 20 minutes or so, and then return.

this teaches his body (i'm assuming he's under 7 still) that you are "there" for him. that you are leaving the room, but you will come back and that he is safe and sound. at some point (usually within 4-7 days) he will drop off during the time you are away or shortly after, and some kids get it in 3 nights. then, you can move on to having your evening the way that you need it.

anyway, hope that helps. i write quite a bit about rhythms and talk about cleaning, playing/activity/meal, and now our bed time ritual in the waldorf and decluttering forums.
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#10 of 10 Old 08-28-2010, 11:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i think that the steiner concept of rhythms is awesome. i practically live and die by the concept, because honestly, it makes my life great because there is a time for everything.

ours is becoming more musical as DS gets older (he's now 2), and it also encourages him to do various activities such as brushing his teeth. I know that your DS is older, so it may not work, but you never know.

the other thing about the rhythm is that you just do what you need to do. you are not ignoring your child, but you are creating boundaries around when he has your fullest attention and when he does not because there are other things to attend to. And, btw, this teaches him about life's work, which all of us have to do.

now, with bedtime, as a pp mentioned, bedroom time will likely do. but there are a few things i would work out. 1. create a ritual. this is a archetypal signal of change, and we have a bed time ritual involving a candle. DS *loves* it. he talks about it quite frequently with anyone who will listen. LOL 2. give him assurance so you don't have to stay there.

this second process is one that is a bit tougher, but it's like this. you do the bed time ritual, and he is in bed. then, you move to a quiet activity next to his bed (no talking) such as mending or knitting or just nursing the other one or what have you. on the first day, you get up and leave the room--literally for a moment--and then come back. you get up, walk out of the room, count to five, return, and go back to whatever you were doing quietly (btw, i meditate). stay there until he drops off to sleep.

on the next night, leave, go to the toilet or get a glass of water (a few minutes--3-5), and return. stay until he's asleep. on the third night, leave for a bit longer (say 10 minutes), and return. on the fourth night, a little longer, 12-15 minutes, then return. on the fifth night, 20 minutes or so, and then return.

this teaches his body (i'm assuming he's under 7 still) that you are "there" for him. that you are leaving the room, but you will come back and that he is safe and sound. at some point (usually within 4-7 days) he will drop off during the time you are away or shortly after, and some kids get it in 3 nights. then, you can move on to having your evening the way that you need it.

anyway, hope that helps. i write quite a bit about rhythms and talk about cleaning, playing/activity/meal, and now our bed time ritual in the waldorf and decluttering forums.
Love your post. Can you tell me about some books/online articles that will outline rhythm for me? A quick google search didn't turn up what I was looking for. Thanks!

Me,yummy.gif   DS, Peace.gif and DDdust.gif Grateful to the baby I lost for sticking around long enough to teach me what I needed to know so badly  candle.gif  We  love our forest valley home, our goats and chickenschicken3.gif, and wild harvested food-medicine coolshine.gif

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