Parenting is never easy, I wished that when I had my first child a full detailed instruction on how to be a perfect parent was included in the pack. Sadly, I was thrown in the deep end, mostly struggling to keep my head above water, failure is something I have to get used to. You might think that I’m being hard on myself, but there are times when I really do think that I’m less than perfect, especially when it comes to putting my 8-year-old to bed.
My son is great. Well mannered, polite and happy. But then some kind of strange transformation occurs when my husband and I mention the word ‘bedtime’. Suddenly he becomes argumentative, hostile and awkward. He finds any excuse to delay bedtime, from brushing one tooth at a time on 5-minute intervals to insisting watching the latest evening news. When was the last time an 8-year-old been so interested in current world affairs? It never fails to amaze me the kind of excuses he comes out with when he knows it’s time for bed.
David and I have always believed that it’s important to have a ‘me-time’ in the evening and by putting the kids to bed at a reasonable time, gives us that quality time. Many couples fail to realise that spending even an hour with each other in the evening is very important especially if you have kids running riot all day.
My son, however, has other ideas, he believes that going to bed at 8.30 is some kind of torture. According to my him, he finds sleeping pretty boring. Well, I’m sorry kiddo, but if I can find some other way to make sleeping more exciting for you then I will let you know!
After putting the baby to bed, tidying the house, loading the washer, getting the school clothes ready, bath time and kids messing about for an hour before bedtime, my husband and I are lucky if we get an hour to spend together. And usually after a dose of Dexter and a glass of wine were out for the count until the baby decides to wake up. We then find ourselves crawling up the stairs, grunting at each other on who’s turn is it to do the feeding. So much for our quality time eh?
So when I saw the Ready for Bed Week, I thought I’d check it out. I could sure do with some useful advice in how to bring back harmony in our bedtime routine.
The site offers downloadable bedtime reward charts, and for every 100 charts downloaded you can help other children in an underdeveloped or developing country get a comfortable place to sleep. SCAW (Sleeping Children Around the World) works to provide bed kits for children. This year alone they provided 6,000-bed kits for children in the Philippines, great advice for a good cause.
I don’t know whether my son is a little too old for reward charts but I’m willing to try anything in exchange for an easy life. Unless I discover something to make sleeping just a tad bit exciting.