(Are you just joining me for the 30 Day “experiment” of learning to trust my kids and really dig deeper into truly peaceful and respectful parenting? Check out this post for an introduction of what we’re doing.
It’s currently almost 8pm on Day 4, and Addie is having dinner.
Dinner. That usually happens at 5.
This leads me to believe that bedtime will be rather late.
But I’m deciding that today is over enough to write about it right along with Day 3. They’re pretty similar in that both of them made it exceedingly obvious that I am a CONTROOOLLL FREAKKKK and have A HUGE PROBLEM/TRIGGER WITH TELEVISION/MEDIA.
Shooshhh. Even in the middle of an experiment in letting go and trusting, I keep inventing ways to try to control and coerce and change what is happening.
Can we say exhausting?
ANYWAY. Let’s start with…
What Addie ate (over both days): water, oatmeal with blueberries, chocolate and cashews, spaghetti, grapes, chicken and ketchup, more chicken and ketchup, pita and hummus, red peppers, pickles, Mexican breakfast burrito, banana bread, one slice of quesadilla, large glass of freshly juiced green juice, gummy bears, more spaghetti, three bowls of HoneyOats and almond milk.
How many Hours of TV she watched: Gaaahhhhh. Day 3? About five. Day 4: Only interrupted watching Youtube videos for meals and to go to the mall play area and run around for about 3 hours. I’m guessing it evens out to about 7.
When Addie went to bed: 9:45pm on Day 3…..Went to bed with me after I got tired and cranky and majorly stressed out again. Day 4: TBD. Clearly after 8pm.
Overall Lessons and Conclusions so far:
I do not know how to trust. I do not even know how to let go during an EXPERIMENT. What am I so afraid of? If something doesn’t work for our family, we can all work together to change it again. I don’t know why I’m having such a hard time “un-controlling,” except that it just must be a deeply engrained habit of thought for me.
My “fears” are coming true, to some extent, at this stage in the experiment. She’s running a little wild with bedtime and screen time freedom. And it’s showing. It’s only 4 days in, but she’s tired, and she is not able to make transitions in and out of screen time without a ton of tears. About an hour ago, she started coughing a lot, and I feel like the lack of sleep is harming her immune system’s strength.
Every time she asks to go back to YouTube, my blood pressure shoots up and I feel angry and anxious. I try to find ways to say no, reasons to control or manipulate it away.
So what’s the plan? Keep going?
I have no idea.
It doesn’t feel like good parenting to watch her get sick because she is NOT (as of yet) regulating her own tiredness and need for sleep. It doesn’t feel like good parenting to watch all our family rhythms blow up and my anxiety and exhaustion peak every night by 9:00 pm.
But I really want to know what WOULD happen. I’ve heard a lot of people vehemently assert that kids WILL and CAN regulate their own sleep, given freedom and encouragement to do so. I don’t even know how to begin believing that. And maybe my kid isn’t going to, but it’s hard right now to imagine continuing this in order to find out.
And I also really want to go deep enough to understand WHY I have such a charged reaction to media, and how much my reaction actually contributes to a “forbidden fruit” effect with her, intensifying the “addiction” behaviors. I don’t want to just snap like a rubberband right back into how it used to be, without understanding anything more.
It’s impossible to draw real conclusions after 4 days, I know. Everything we’re going through is “detox” and we have no idea what happens on the other side.
I think Kevin and I will spend some time tonight and figure out if continuing some of the total freedoms in these areas is a good idea, and if it is, how to go about it in a healthy way for all of us.
Tune in tomorrow for THE (new) PLAN.
(And send prayers and good vibes for surviving the rest of tonight.)
Post bedtime edit: In the obvious exhaustion above, I forgot to mention something beautiful and bright from today.
Throughout the day, Addie made it a point at least 3 times, kind of out of nowhere, to say things like, “Thank you so much for taking me to play, today,” and “Mom? I really love when we snuggle.” It was noticeable enough to merit a few shocked “AWWWW” faces from both me and Kevin.
Also, she went to bed with Kevin at 9:00 pm. It was his suggestion, but she was not upset about it. I think she knew she was tired.