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caramel & cocoa

Caramel & Cocoa - cooking, parenting, fashion, diy, eating, living, a blog

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Regimented sleep for the little ones?

Yesterday, I was on skype with my mom and my girls were being needy, loud and clingy. "I am sorry mom. They didn't nap today." I tried to explain. She rolled her eyes and tried to change the subject. She disapproves of my stringent nap and bedtime routine. The thing is, my mom, originally from Mexico, has lived in California since she was 22. She is now 67 and while being very American, has definitely retained the "Mexican" way of child rearing.

The truth is, me & my 2 brothers and 1 sister, never had set naps, strict bedtime routines and most definitely, our naps did not rule her day or my dad's. We went wherever they had to go, to do whatever they had to do and slept in the car, in their arms, on chairs, in waiting rooms, at playdates, at parties, at the grocery store, at the autoshop and get this we even went to the movies as toddlers. You get the picture. 

As a result, my mom's memories of bringing up her 4 children are lovely. She did not suffer from loneliness, depression, stress and says she never felt overwhelmed. Both of my parents have told me that they struggle sometimes to understand why I am so overwhelmed. "Just take care of you little treasures."  They tell me. 

That being said, my mom says I never had a public tantrum. And I have to say that my daughters have never had public tantrums or misbehaved with my parents, as they have with me. My mom and dad have also never struggled to get them to bed or fed, regardless of jetlag, lack of naps, time changes. 

I can't really explain what it is. But the approach that my parents have with my girls, is very free, and my kids respond to that well. I have an incredibly difficult time using the same approach because I do feel pressure and kind of value the girls napping from 1 to 3 pm so I can have some alone time. I wish I was more like them in that respect, but I am very assimilated to the westernized culture of regimented child-rearing. I don't however, think that mine the healthiest approach. I would love for my kids to be more flexible than they are now and that is what I am working towards with them. I worry that they will expect life to always be a certain way, and we all know that's not the case. 

That being said, the girls were in bed at 7:00pm on the dot tonight. 

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