I have been trying to cut out Honour’s nap. Yes…it is true. Many may not understand how I could go without such a precious time of the day but I have been keeping a close eye on our routines and when Honour goes without his nap he is asleep about 2 hours earlier…2 hours! That is a whole lot more time in the evening to spend relaxing before bed and having time with Ben and our little girl without the insane evening excitement that usually surrounds a toddler.
Well to still have a little rest during the day we have instilled quiet play time. This is where Honour can go into room with all his toys, books and bed and have a choice of what he wants to do. He spends a little time in here while I run about getting some things done or sit with a cookie and a tea….whatever is most needed that day…yes, the cookie usually wins. So far it has been pretty successful as he does need some time to just be on his own and rest during the day.
Sometimes he will tell me that he is ‘so tired’ and literally drags me into his bed to put him to sleep. On those days naps are inevitable and obviously very much needed. Yes, bedtime gets pushed back a little on those days but it would be unfair to not allow him the sleep he pleads for.
Today though he was in his room playing quietly when I heard him come out and start putting his toys on the table. I explained he needed to either go back in his room to play or lay in bed. He then started telling me he wanted to play at the table. This is where I could have directed him to his room, raised my voice or offered an ultimatum but instead I sensed he wasn’t trying to be confrontational or defiant so I just asked him why. In his sweet voice with hair all messy he responded that the little men he was playing with couldn’t stand up on the carpet, they kept falling over, so he needed the table. Well, no tears, no screaming, no battle of the wills…just a simple solution of putting a book on the floor first to stand his men on and he could stay in his room. He looked at me genuinely pleased and when he said ‘thank you mumma’ my heart sang 🙂
Their minds are different, their actions have reasons and sometimes it just takes a question to find out what is going on in their little brain before jumping to your own adult conclusion. I am still learning but this is why I gravitate towards gentle parenting, because we can’t always find out the reasoning behind their actions if we immediately start punishing the behaviour. It is hard, tiring and often more time consuming shutting off our adult brains to think like a child but when you consider this is their life, their days and your chance to connect it makes it an easier decision to sit, wait and learn.
Trying to be gracious,