Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Love & Logic - Bedtime!

I just recently read Parenting with Love & Logic. This is actually the first book...I read the second book first which is concerning kids ages Birth - 6. This one was more for older kids although you could apply the tips to younger kids. One of the differences I noticed had to do with bedtimes for older kids. Once kids get to a certain age....and I think this age is not a number, but more of a developmental age they can understand and figure out what their body is trying to tell them. So we sat the older boys down and asked them how they know when they are hungry and how to do they know when they have to go to the bathroom. Of course they told us how their tummies growl and in Jack's words..."My penis gets big"....love that kid! They know their body gives them clues. 

Then we told them that Daddy and I require 7 hours of sleep every night. Then I asked how much sleep they think they should get and Owen said he wanted 10 hours. Perfect....then you need to fall asleep by 9pm. We also told them that require around 2 and a half hours of alone time at night. Not because we don't love them, but because we are tired and we need some downtime at night. So we told them that between 8 - 8:30 we would say goodnight and they could play upstairs in the playroom as long as we didn't see them. They also got to decide when they wanted to go to sleep. They need to listen to their bodies. Now of course I'm thinking this is going to end badly...they are going to end up staying awake until 11:30 or something, but you know what....one day of being exhausted would sure teach them how they should listen to their bodies. Because the next morning was a school day so they weren't going to sleep in. 

I was super surprised when they chose to go to bed around 9:30! The next day they did great! Ever since that first night they have had to go to their room before they are ready for various reasons....coming downstairs and calling my name from the top of the stairs. They get sent to their room, but they still don't have to go to sleep. Mostly they do great...they play and then they put themselves to bed...one night it was at 8:45! 

Now for the younger too this isn't an option. They are just a little to young for this. So we changed something about their sleep habits as well. They are no longer taking naps. This was a huge sacrifice for me. I love those couple of hours to myself during the day, but it was necessary. First Ella is starting school in the fall and I really need to break her of naps. Second Zeke was the one that was mainly causing issues at bedtime because he wasn't tired. Now when we put Ella and Zeke to bed between 8 - 8:30 they are tired!!! By the time Owen and Jack do come to bed Zeke is out so they are able to actually go to sleep rather than be bugged by their younger brother. Ella and Zeke could still use a nap and some days they get a little one. If Ella is having a hard time controlling her emotions I'll tell her to go to her room and come out when she's ready to behave and she usually falls asleep and I'll go get her in 30 minutes. Zeke Man usually won't fall asleep until he gets sent to his room or we are in the van...he's great at crashing in the car! 

Just another success from Love & Logic! It hasn't even been 1 month since we started implementing these changes and I'm so enjoying the changes we've experienced. Plus I love that I have not once raised my voice with my kids!