Saturday, November 17, 2012

Parenting: Sleep Time

I was feeling bad last week about being a crappy parent, because I was guilt tripping my son, trying to get him to do more housework. It's hard to figure that one out. I don't want to do it all, and it's not easy getting him to do what seems like a reasonable share.

But I'm not a crappy parent, and I think it might help to focus on what I offer my son that's pretty special. So much of what I do well as a parent, I take for granted. ("Of course I _____, how could I not?") Time to meditate some on my values as a parent - the values I really do practice in my life as a mom.

People are often surprised when I mention that my son sleeps 11 hours a night when he's not woken (either by necessity or excitement). But I think lots of kids would sleep that long if we made space for it. Knowing that sleep is vital for brain development, this is a high priority for me.

I take this for granted because it feels so basic, but I know most folks can't imagine how they'd give their kids this amount of sleep time. And I haven't been able to myself this past year. Ever since I started teaching 8am classes in January, I've been trying to get us to bed earlier. But it's hard for me to sleep when I'm not done with my prep for the next day, and it's hard for my son to sleep when I'm still up.  I'm very excited to have a schedule next semester with only two early starts. So my son will get shorted on his sleep 2 nights a week instead of 4. Last night he slept 12 hours, making up for what he missed all week.

Does your child get enough sleep time?