Children, Life, Parenting
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Perfect Parenting Information

Any minute now, the phone is going to ring and the person on the other end of the line is going to tell me that I may have been mis-sold PPI – Perfect Parenting Information.

It’s an unwritten rule in my circles that lunch is at 12pm, tea is 5pm and bedtime is at 7pm.  Toddlers sleep from 1-3pm.  A micro scooter is the obligatory outdoors accessory and Lego is the go-to birthday party present of choice.

All this information was passed onto me from parents with children a year or two older and so far, has stood me in good stead.  So, when it came time for my son to start school, I listened intently and took notes on what to expect.

Last summer, I was regaled with numerous stories of reception aged children being so exhausted after a full day at school that they were falling asleep into their fish fingers by 6pm.

My personal experience thus far, has been quite the opposite.

My little angel was used to spending a full-day in nursery while I worked a full-time job.  This 9am-3.30pm malarkey is a mere walk in the park compared to the hours he was pulling on his previous shift; so he is understandably full of beans when I take him home in the middle of the afternoon.

Seeing his little face light up when he finds my face amongst the sea of parents waiting to collect their children reassures me that my decision to step off the hamster wheel was the right one.

However, after 3-hours of puzzles, stories, a bit of telly, dinner and then bath, teeth cleaning, wee depositing, pyjama dressing, more story reading and tucking in… you would think that snuggling up under a duvet is all he can think about.

It is certainly all I can think about.

But, he then wants to play in his room until he “feels more tired, Mummy”.

Sometimes tiredness has not revealed itself until 9.30pm, after I have been up & down the stairs to respond to various requests for water/toys/biscuits/poos/cuddles/lights on or off, for over 2 hours.

By which time, I am way too tired to contemplate dinner, although my waistline would beg to differ, so head off to bed myself with only Netflix to keep me company.

Last week, we retired his cot-bed to the loft *weeps* and took delivery of a shiny new single bed, with extra leg room and super soft bedding.

He still wanted to play in his room until he “felt more tired”.

We turn his lamp off, he turns it back on.  I put him back into his bed, he climbs back out.  I tell him to go to sleep, he laughs in my  face.  LAUGHS IN MY ACTUAL FACE.

I would laugh too, but it is way past my bedtime and I get cranky if I’m not drooling into the sofa by the first beat of the Eastenders Doof Doof.

So, the last few nights, I have started the routine 30-minutes later.  We have pushed dinner back to 5.30pm, so he has more time to wind down and play when he comes home from school.   The bath, teeth cleaning, wee depositing, pyjama dressing, more story reading and tucking in routine has not commenced until 6.30pm and I have called lights out by 7.45pm.  Both times there has been little fuss and when I have gone back to check on him around 8pm, he has been fast asleep.

30-minutes was all he needed.

The moral of this story is that Perfect Parenting Information is not suitable for everyone.

*Whispers* some even argue that perfect does not actually exist.

There is no right way or wrong way.  You do what works for you.

Children will move to the beat of their own drum, and so should we.

Stop trying to be perfect and accept that you might just have to settle for AWESOME instead.

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Photo Credit: *Kicki* via Compfight cc

13 Comments

  1. I totally get this! My eldest daughter always went up at 7pm. However, my youngest turns into some tiny crazy person if we try and put her to bed at this time and in the words of Charlie and Lola “I am not sleepy”.

    So we have changed the routine and it works.
    I think the only rule of parenting is, there are no hard and fast rules 🙂

    P.S the late dinners totally resonate too but I have moved them before bedtime in an effort to get some food at some point during my evening!
    Donna @ Little Lilypad Co recently posted…Love Is ….. just isMy Profile

  2. My youngest is just like yours, he suits a slightly later bedtime than many his age, but there is no point battling him into fitting into other peoples ideas, it just doesnt work and we all end up frazzled!
    Sonya Cisco recently posted…First Aid Manual ReviewMy Profile

  3. Really like your post! PPI is adaptable though. Not every situation or child is going to be the same. But you do have to set standards. My oldest daughter would be falling asleep at the dinner table at 6:30PM while my youngest daughter would be ready to go party at 8PM (LOL). I have found that I just needed to adapt to what works but then stick to it. Anyway, thank you for your write up, I really enjoyed reading it.
    The Funster recently posted…Are Board Games Becoming More Popular?My Profile

  4. I love this post! With 3 children, I know that there are absolutely NO rules when it comes to children. One of mine never seems tired, one falls asleep at any given opportunity and the one in the middle insists on staying awake for as long as is humanly possible, despite spending most of the day looking like a zombie! There is no instruction manual (sadly) and it really irritates me that parents feel it their duty to hand down these useful ‘snippets’ to parents slightly behind them. Grrr! Glad you’re little one is settling into school so well (and his new bed!).

  5. Pingback: Britmums Carnival, Feb 25th 2014 – a day late but so worth it!! | andiamo mummy!

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