Good Morning! Its 10:00 a.m. Which is good, because that means there is still a good chance this day can get a lot better.
One of the things I am constantly experiencing as a parent is Amazement. Yes its a feeling of utter disbelief and astonishment. As in, “I can not believe my precious child just did that!”
At our house, my husband and I have got into the habit of allowing the children to watch T.V. first thing in the morning. Why? Well, because I am not fond of getting up at 6 a. m. daily. Not when I am typically up till 11:30 p.m. doing various works around the house. Include in that time my time to read and have some peace and quiet. I have always been a night owl type of person.
So the deal with the children is do your morning chores and once both of you are done you may watch some t.v. When Mommy gets up, the t.v. is off and that is it for the day. I am usually up by 7:30 a.m.
On Monday night I was perusing a parenting magazine and one of their big topics was about sleep and children. In it, they talked about bedtimes. And about waking times. You have probably heard it said, go to bed earlier but always get up at the same time.
This summer due to various things and the heat I have been keeping the children up about 1 1/2 hours later than normal, so from 8 p.m. to about 9:30 p.m. now. Partly because I believe that since they are older they can stay up a little longer. But also because it isn’t comfortable to go for a walk or play in the sand box until later on in the day. Then they are playing so nicely I don’t pull them inside until about 8 p.m. Add two half hour swims in the bath tub, 2 -3 chapters of our nightly read, singing and praying and you’re at 9:30 p.m.
The kids have been dropping to sleep no problem.
But oh! They are suffering from sleep deprivation. So I tried encouraging them to stay in their beds a little longer. No success there!
So the article showed me that perhaps I need to push bed time ahead to 9 p.m.
But then it said something else very interesting. It said that the allure of t.v. is strong enough to reset children’s natural sleep patterns. They said that in many studies it has been shown that the pull of Saturday morning cartoons is enough to make children get up even if severely sleep deprived.
So I decided to watch the kids and see if they were being pulled out of bed earlier than needed for t.v.
First evidence: If DS’s alarm clock isn’t set to the correct time, he will get up way earlier than needed. If he discovers that cartoons aren’t on yet, he will pop in a movie. We have a rule that he can not get out of his bed until 7:00 a.m. now. Simply because his sister does sleep in much longer than he and he was always waking her up.
Second evidence: DD sleeps through everything BUT the t.v. If the t.v. is on she won’t fall asleep. If she is sleeping and the t.v. is turned on, she will wake up in 10 minutes, about 90% of the time.
Third evidence: About 3 of the 5 days of the week the children skip steps of their morning routine to get to the t.v. I have consistently found one child without clothes on watching t.v. Or not having eaten their breakfast. Or not having made their bed. Etc.
So coming to this morning. I watched my children. This whole week they know I have been on high alert for morning behaviour. Last night they were informed that since they have not done all their chores every day this week that if they didn’t do all the steps this morning, there would be no more t.v. in the mornings.
I noticed last night both children were sleeping with their clothes on. But I had put them to bed in pajamas.
This morning they made their beds. They took cereal bowls from the cupboard and spoons. They poured a few drops of milk into the bowls and then… put them on the counter top in the kitchen.
They will not be watching t.v. in the mornings any more.
As for the rest of the wonderful events of the morning. Lets just say this was just the beginning. I still have to tell them about The T.V.