About Me

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Concord, California, United States
I am a sometimes-writer, everyday mama, creative failure and experimental cook. I am interested in living a beautiful life, spending time with my family and making things that I can feel proud of. When I'm by myself I'm usually outside. Don't bother calling because chances are that I didn't bring my cell phone because I couldn't find it. If you see me walking, it's because I lost my keys and if you see me with only one child... I'm probably in big trouble.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Proud of my little Bunny

Generally the way Jay and I parent is to listen to our children and honor the boundaries they set for themselves. We don't force a lot. Obviously we force some things. When Bunny was having trouble with school we said, "I'm sorry but you HAVE to go..." But we try to respect them, even when we don't necessarily agree and even when it makes our lives more complicated.

For the most part this has worked for us. I think that our children are growing up to be fantastic people who have a great sense of who they are and ownership of their actions and bodies. They do things when they are ready and because they aren't forced, they are better able to determine when they are ready and when they feel comfortable. I also believe that they feel more valued. When you're a kid there's so little that you're in control of. I just want my kids to feel that they have some control over their lives.

So, for years... Bunny could not sleep on her own. She has never slept well. Not even as a newborn baby. As a toddler and even a small child, it would take her HOURS of my laying there for her to fall asleep. I tried to let her "cry it out," once and couldn't do it beyond that. My only saving grace was that Lila was so open to sleeping on her own. So, at night, I was able to give Bunny what she needed. My decision was to wait it out. Her fear of being alone at night was real. As she got older she would wake up several times during the night if I wasn't in the bed with her. She'd come find me and cry if I wouldn't crawl into bed with her. I'd be up five or six times in one night... never sure which bed I'd wake up in.

But Bunny is almost 7 years old. I had been struggling for awhile with the fact that she hadn't just naturally grown out of this. And at night, I didn't feel that she was fearful any longer. I just felt that my being in her bed was habitual.

One night I just had it. I had a long, firm talk with her about not laying down with her as she goes to sleep... EVER AGAIN. She will sleep in her own bed, by herself, all night... EVERY NIGHT.

And it was tough at first. She had a few nights when she stayed up and fought it for hours. After that, she started falling asleep so much easier. I'm convinced that my being in her bed was making everything worse for her. It's been over a week now and she's in her bed and actually asleep by about 7:45 every night. She sleeps through the night.... and for the first time in almost 7 years... SO DO I.

I'm so proud of her. Also, I take this as a lesson in parenting. Not that I'll change my general philosophy... but sometimes children don't know their boundaries and they need someone to help them. I think that we could have done this with Bunny sooner than we did, but I certainly wouldn't have done it when she showed true fear of being by herself. I understand that it's fine to do that. I've had pediatricians recommend it to me... so I'm not making any sort of judgement on anyone who chooses this as a way of forming routine. It just wasn't conducive to my parenting style. And you don't choose the sort of parent you are. It chooses you.

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