Raising the Future / Things Kids Say

Give kids an inch, they always take a mile

I believe the original saying was created by a parent. It must have been, because I find that in every possible way my daughter stretches the limit.

My daughter has a nice big bedroom, with a cozy queen bed. Plus lots of her favorite stuffed animals and soothing lighted pillows. She has had this bedroom since she was an infant, but somehow it is evil.

She has no problem playing in her room, but when it comes to sleep, nope nope nope. Since sleep is one of the most precious commodities for me, I have since bought a camping cot for my own bedroom. When those nights come where her bedroom causes tantrums and stress, and the hour is late – there is the blessed cot.

Tonight after about 30 minutes of near sleep, she sits upright and says “When I was in 2nd grade, I had a nightmare and I’m afraid I’m going to have it again tonight “. Immediately the right side of my lip creeps up and I’m like “huh, what’s happening and why? That was 2 years ago, how can you even remember that?”

Then I realize we’ve reached that next negotiation threshold, where the cot is no longer suitable to her, and she wants my bed. Oh for crying out loud, why can’t she just see how lucky she is to be in that cot? I know, I know – I should never have given in with the cot. But if you had cyclical insomnia, the non-sound of a silent child sleeping would be as perfect to you as it is to me. Plus this kiddo NEEDS sleep. Her energy during the day exceeds that of the Energizer bunny. Cot = 11-12 hours of sleep. Her bedroom = 8-9 hours of regularly interrupted sleep for all in the house. Which would you choose?

That book called “Go the **** to sleep” was clearly written by a person that understands the sacredness of parental sleep…or just the ability to relax for a couple hours, quietly, doing whatever adults do at night, before falling asleep.

Such a dilemma. I find this pattern in other areas too. Such as, when she’s earned extra TV time. She knows how to tell time but amazingly that skill stops when the TV is on so she couldn’t turn it off at the time she was told. More, more, more.

I know my daughter has very real self-control and impulsivity challenges but, man, it’s exhausting to constantly be tracking everything. I am hoping that as she matures, she will listen to her body’s needs better and realize that it is better to earn trust by being responsible than to try to get away with “more” of everything.


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