What’s Important?


We have a rule for our boys that they may not come out of their rooms after we kiss them goodnight unless it is for something important (subject to the arbitrary discretion of mom and dad), upon penalty of having to stay in their room 5 minutes longer in the morning. It is torturous for them to know that their brothers are eating breakfast 5 minutes before them, so it is quite an effective deterrent.

It is so interesting to see what they deem important enough to be willing to risk morning time out. Last week our 4 year old came out because he could not remember the name of the gold robot in Star Wars, C3PO, but when he threw up in bed, we didn’t know until the morning, because he didn’t think that was important enough to tell us and risk 5 extra minutes.

I feel like this week between Thanksgiving and the start of Advent is a gift. Usually we are coming back from Thanksgiving travels and I am trying to get the Jesse tree up and unpack the same day. But this year we have a whole week. I think Our Lord wants me to use it to think about what is really important. Sometimes God must smile at my silly worries, what I think is critically important, just as my husband and I smile at the urgent things that go through our 4 year old’s head as he is trying to fall asleep. Perhaps we can all use this week to prepare to prepare for the birth of Jesus by thinking about what is really important.

 

  • http://patheos.com/blogs/buildingcathedrals Katrina

    This is a great reflection, Tex, I love your perspective!
    I’m also very impressed that your boys don’t come out of their rooms until a certain time each morning! How do you enforce that rule? We could use that for at least 2/3 of our kids :)

  • Kellie “Red”

    We have the same rule in our home and have had to clarify that the following things are important
    1) throw up or otherwise feeling ill
    2) using the bathroom
    3) a bloody nose
    4) mom or dad forgetting to put a pull-up on a day time potty trained child

  • Katrina

    Kellie, I love how specific you have been! When do yOu talk about these rules? How do you explain them to a toddler?

  • Texas Mommy

    Our kids all have digital clocks, which they can read after about 3.5. Like so many things, it is just a habit at this point, I don’t even remember when it was instituted. They are allowed to turn on the lights and read at 6:45, and can come down at 7. When our 3 year old moved in with our 4 year old, the bigger boy could tell the littler boy when he could turn on the light, though sometimes they sleep later.

    For littler guys, I think we would go in and turn on their light and let them look at books for about 15 minutes. We were having issues with super early wake ups (5 am-ish) and without clear guidelines, our oldest didn’t want to go back to bed. But since he know he can’t turn on his light until 6:45 he will go back to sleep if he goes to the bathroom at 5am. Our boys really need their sleep or they are grumpy (me too for that matter)!!


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