I dug this story out today at Mr T's insistence. I wrote it two years ago when he was 4 and when I'd read it to him he smile and say it's really about me isn't it mum? It's a gentle parenting bed time story and at the time it was a reminder to me of all the different ways I could deal with a behavior that was stressing me out. Hope you enjoy it.
The Midnight Boy
The Midnight Boy liked to stay up late.
He stayed up later than his baby sister – but that’s because he was heaps older.
The midnight Boy was four.
He stayed up later than his BIG sister. She was nine but she liked to go to bed early.
He even stayed up later than Dad.
Dad had to get up early for work in the mornings so he had to go to bed at a reasonable hour.
Mum stayed up late too…with the Midnight Boy.
But one night Mum was cranky. She didn’t get cranky too often but
“Tonight” she said, “I am just so tired!”
She told the Midnight Boy to go to bed.
This made the Midnight Boy cry- he wasn’t sleepy at all.
He wanted to play a game…
and do a puzzle and eat a midnight snack…
and go for a moon walk with Mum because the moon was full.
He wanted to look at the stars and cuddle Mum while everyone else was asleep.
The next night after dinner Mum gave the midnight Boy a bath.
Then she gave him some chamomile tea to help him relax.
Then she sprayed some lavender oil on his wrists.
She turned down the lights and played some soft music.
And the midnight Boy started feeling sleepy.
So they hopped into bed and read some books, and half way through the fifth book the Midnight Boy closed his eyes.
BUT then he sat up…
His eyes sprung open…
“Mum, I feel like doing a drawing.”
“We can do a drawing in the morning.” She suggested.
“No, I really feel like doing it now.” explained the Midnight Boy.
So Mum and the Midnight Boy got up.
Mum turned on a lamp in the lounge room.
She got pencils and paper. She gave the Midnight Boy an apple and a glass of milk.
Then Mum said “Good night. You can stay up as long as you want, but I’m going to bed.”
The Midnight Boy started a drawing and drank his milk. But then he started to feel a little bit lonely so he turned off the lamp and crept quietly into bed, careful not to wake anyone.
And he squeezed in between Mum and Dad, next to his baby sister and went to sleep.
Gentle parenting assumes that children have the same rights as adults. They may not be able to express themselves as well as we, nor control their emotions as well, but they deserve respect as well as love.
All behaviours exhibited by our children have very logical reasons behind them and it’s our job as parents NOT to enforce arbitrary rules but to find out what our children need to make them happy.
So many traditional parenting rules are meaningless when you look at them. Why should every child go to bed at 7:30pm?
When you find yourself acting as the enforcer first ask why?