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
|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.|
|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!'|
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!
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?
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.