I have always been an early riser. It’s my “me time.” I LOVE being up before the sun rises and especially enjoy the special peace that can only be found at the start of the day.
My husband is the opposite.
ALL of my kids took after him.
Not at first, of course, but as they moved past the baby and toddler stage, (and slept longer–especially on weekends) I eventually got my “me time” back. No matter how crazy the week had been, I knew there was always a pocket of wonderful peace waiting for me weekend mornings while the rest of the house still slept.
Then we found ourselves parenting a small child again. A small child who seemed to have my proclivity for early mornings.
And just like a bad game of SORRY I found myself back at the start point of the searching-for-my-“me-time” game.” (Feel free to read about my adventures with the game “SORRY” HERE.)
Then one Saturday morning, I struggled to field far too many questions before six am about my knowledge of Transformers peppered by multiple exclamations of the latest and greatest newly advertised toy that simply had to be added to his birthday list IMMEDIATELY. “I really want this for my birthday! Can you write it down, Gigi? So you don’t forget? Can you? Can you do it now? Please?”
And I found myself starting to lose it.
I realized I had consumed too little coffee to even begin to be engaged in this disjointed, over enthusiastic, ever chatty world of a five year old who always woke up dialed fully to “on” and I began to think about his bedroom where he SHOULD have been. Peacefully sleeping.
It was a wonderful room, WAY on the other side of the house, filled with toys and books and games that were rarely touched.
Then I had a GREAT idea.
What if he spent a couple of hours each weekend morning there instead? Would it be so bad if he were REQUIRED to stay there on the weekends until maybe 7:30 or even 8:00 before coming down stairs?
After all, I thought, being forced to actually play with some of his beloved toys or perhaps read a book or two certainly wasn’t punishment and actually might even rekindle his interest in them. Plus, I was finding myself getting more and more resentful by the moment and I knew I had to do something.
It worked brilliantly!
Initially he did object and begged to come down after only ten minutes. But once he figured out I wasn’t kidding about donating his nice toys to some other child who would appreciate them if he didn’t stop complaining–he changed his tune real fast.
Now a couple of months down, he loves showing me what he read/built/found or otherwise did during his forced-weekend-time-in-his-room adventures. And best of all, when he occasionally disappears, he can usually be found back in his room again actually playing with his toys; only this time it’s his idea.
I’m happy to report, thanks to our new rule, my attitude has improved tremendously and my child has learned the following:
Turns out locking my child in his room was one of the best decisions I ever made. My only regret is not thinking about it sooner!!
Please note: At NO time did I actually physically lock my child in his room. At all times he was capable of leaving freely in the event of an emergency requiring a quick exit.
Please let me know what you think by leaving me a comment!
Lover of reading, writing, sparkly things and whatever purrs, barks or flies. Former helicopter mom, co-dependent and enabler, I am addicted to walking, my family and my iWatch. Teacher by day and writer by night, I am clearly the one learning the most. Keeping it up until I get it right. Choosing joy one day at a time and sharing my journey so others can see why it might not be found if we don’t look for it. Thanks for stopping by!