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Who Rules The Roost? October 9, 2005

Posted by poseidongroove in Parenting/Children.
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One of the things most new parents overlook is ensuring they start to set ground rules for their kids as soon as they start to understand what is going on around them. We had our twins at 25 weeks. At the time, it was such a shock to the system that I was in a haze for several months even after we’d had four months to prepare for them to come home. (They were in intensive care for four months).

Fortunately, the organised and sanitised environment of intensive care introduced us to baby care 101. We’d lost both our mums so it was always going to be hard work when the kids came home.

Eventually, we developed a routine for feeding them e.g. I was responsible for the care of a specific child as long as I was at home. Doesn’t matter if I was tired I had to bottle feed at night.

After all the challenges of the early years especially with Alex who has cerebral palsy. We got through the terrible twos now they are 3+ we faced a number of challenges which I know a few friends have faced. The main one being getting kids into bed early.

Most parents never like to admit this, developing and sticking to a bed time routine for kids is extremely difficult. We were there. Eventually, almost a year ago we decided it was time to act. First, we forced the kids to move to their own room. With premature babies, most parents are terrified to let their babies sleep in separate rooms because they sometimes forget to breath, with terrible consequences. Our twins did this several times in intensive care they call it apnoea. The nurses then have to bag them as they call it to revive them. Of course, we were terrified.

In any case, we were at our tethers end, they’d refuse to sleep and cry their eyes out until we were all in bed at the same time usually around 10:30PM. Of course, this is not very good for growing babies. In the end, we moved them to their nursery and broke the pattern in several ways. The first few days were horrific. They cried till 4:00AM for three days. Looking back now, I’m really glad we kicked them out.

  • Strictly enforced lights out policy at 7:30PM,
  • Before this we usually have story time poems and lullabies,
  • If they cry their eyes out ignore them except you have reasons to believe it is genuine (I’m been honest this was the difficult part),
  • We had to give up several things, radio; TV programmes are out at bed time It doesn’t matter if we desperately want to watch. Story time comes first,
  • No phone calls or mobile phone calls at this time of the day for either of us.

Since, we started this regime, I’m happy to report that they love story time we love it as well it’s the most important thing we do everyday. I look forward to it even when I’m working out of town. By 7:00PM they are already itching to go to bed. If anyone had told me this would be the case, over a year ago I’d have laughed at them. Of course, the reward is we have more time to ourselves in the evening than ever before. I can go to the pub for a drink in the evening if I wanted to or read to my hearts content. For anyone looking forward to being a parent or going through this phase, all I can say is develop a routine and stick to it rigidly. Never give in to tantrums it’s a time for stiff upper lips.

If you don’t want to snap at your kids after a hard days work. Give them TLC at bed time and you’ll have peace. I’m going to share some of our experience looking after Alexander who has got Cerebral Palsy in future posts.