Saturday, February 21, 2009

Hitting the Snooze

I have not been doing well (at all) at getting up at 6am. I've probably only gotten up at 6am twice and 6:30am four times. My husband and I are not disciplined at all about going to bed on time. I can name a bunch of really good excuses and a few lame ones, but that's just it, they're excuses.

Monica at Homespun Heart has been talking a lot about discipline. It's easy to talk about disciplining our kids. Whether you spank, use time-outs, take away privileges, we know that our children need discipline. It's good for them to learn to obey God and their parents. It's good for them to eat their vegetables. It's good for them to pick-up their toys before bed. It's good for them to stay in the circle of safety, as Shepherding a Child's Heart describes. It's a blessing to be disciplined in life.

And here I sit, not disciplined about my bedtime, exhausted. Not feeling blessed. Feeling tired and irritable. My boys, on the other hand, have been doing better about going to bed on time...which means early mornings. Their internal clocks were set to a 7:30am wake-up alarm. And now it's turned into 6:50am. I guess I have two dilemmas:

1. I need to go to bed on time!
I need to get back into my "routine" and get my work done before dinner so that after dinner all that's left is the dishes and general pick-up. Then I need to set the alarm, that's right, NOT the clock-radio (I can sleep through that for hours...or until it turns off). I need to get adequate sleep at night so that I can get up in the morning refreshed, ready to face the day. So I can get my exercising in. So I can be in the Word and in focused prayer time. So I can be blessed by God!

2. I need to get my boys (mostly the older one) to stay in his room until 7:30am.
This is going to take a lot of work. Right now he gets up at 6:50am and runs to the fridge for an apple. Wakes me up (hopefully before he wakes up his brother) by crunching an apple in my face. I turn on PBS in my room so that he can watch Clifford and I can doze for 30 more minutes. I'm not really sure how I can keep him in his room. I'm open to suggestions. Having your kids wake you feels like such a terrible thing and I really can't believe that I'm sharing this. But I need to be honest so I can get some accountability.

I really want to do this. I really want to be up at 6am. I really want to be in bed at 10:30pm, ready for reading or sleep. I really want my kids to stay in their rooms until 7:30am so I can exercise, have quiet time and get a shower in before 4pm. I really want this!! So, I need to do something about it and get disciplined.

Please, check out Monica's posts about discipline (and we're not talking about your kids here).
Living with Discipline 1
Living with Discipline 2
Living with Discipline 3
Living with Discipline 4


Anonymous said...

Thanks Jessica, that was very challenging! I keep giving myself excuses b/c Caleb isn't sleeping through the night. (Something we plan on working on in the coming weeks) but I can still get to bed earlier! :) Jen O.

jill m said...

First I have to give you kudos for enforcing an early bedtime. Kids need more sleep than we think...we learned that the hard way when Dana was young. Ever since we've enforced an early bedtime for both girls. Usually it's 7pm (neither take a nap anymore), sometimes it's 7:30 and sometimes it's 6:30pm if they show signs of being exceptionally exhausted.

My tip for keeping him in his room until a certain time comes from the book, Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child. Keep a digital clock in his room and put a paper by it with the time he may leave his room. So if he wakes up at 6:50, he needs to wait until his clock matches the paper with 7:30 written on it. It won't work overnight. For a week you might have to kindly put him back in his room and remind him he may not leave until his clock matches the paper.

Maybe you can create a basket of activities (stash on the floor of his closet) for him to do while he waits for the magic time to appear on his clock when leave his room?

Jessica said...

Jill ~
Thanks for the help. I'd like to think I can give him a basket of stuff to play with in the morning, but it might be hard for him to stay out of it when he goes to bed at night. I might have to sneak it in, or give it to him when he wakes up.

Thanks again!!

ameybc said...

Hi Jessica,
I haven't had to try this with Lila (yet!) but I read about it in a magazine. If the clock idea doesn't work - which I really like because it focuses on numbers - you could try using a nightlight plugged into a timer. When the light is on, it is "night time". When it goes off, he can come out of his room! - Colette