Today’s post is a story of when breaking a rule isn’t such a bad thing. This was one of those moments I needed to keep my flexibility meter up. While enforcing rules (in general) is vital to maintaining a disciplined household, knowing when to be flexible to very important as well.
A couple of nights ago, I had placed my 4 year old to bed. In my home, once a child is placed in bed, they are expected to rest and go to sleep. Although my older child can read (no televisions in bedrooms) in his bed, I haven’t implemented that policy for my younger one yet.
As the story goes, around 30-45 minutes had passed after I placed my children to bed. My wife went upstairs (where the kids sleep) to change into her pajama’s. It took a lot more time for her to change than usual but I didn’t question anything. I had had a long day and was exhausted.
The next morning, I mentioned something about the prior night in passing. What happened was my wife peeked in on my 4 year old. Unfortunately, he wasn’t quite asleep. He looked up at her and sweetly asked, “Mommy, will you rock me?” Though Lauren and I have the same general bedtime policies, she gave in.
The way she explained the situation was beyond question to me. In essence, she said that the day will come when he’ll never ask to be rocked again. Now, there may be a cynic or two who will question her decision on the basis of breaking routines. But, here’s what I have learned after years of working with children. You have to be clear to a child on your rules. Your child has to be clear on the rules. Then and only then can you take a jackhammer and smash a rule occasionally.
Tonight, of course, I’ll place the children to bed and make sure my wife stays the heck away from them. (Ha Ha- just kidding)
Have a fabulous weekend and I’ll write to you again Tuesday.