Lights out in 5 minutes

Every night at bedtime I to tell my daughter to sleep because if she doesn’t get enough sleep she won’t be able to function at school. Makes sense right? It is also very logical that if I just let her sleep late and spend the next day at school feeling groggy and tired she will go to bed earlier without arguing too much.

But for some reason I don’t stop telling her that she needs to sleep early.

And it is not because I don’t think she is smart enough to figure it out on her own, because she can.  I usually let her make her own mistakes so she can learn how to fix them or learn from them.  Like how she spent a week with permanent marker make up on her face so she could learn the fact that markers are for paper and no drawing on your face.  I am not really sure she learned that lesson because yesterday she painted her toe nails with her markers again.

But are human beings logical enough to learn from all of their mistakes?

I make that same mistake of not getting enough sleep nearly every day.  Logic tells me I need to be in bed by 10 because I am up at 5 am.  Yet I am consistently late to bed.  I am not stupid, I am quite sure of that.  But in my head I tell myself that an extra hour of work will do me good and I can function on one hour less of sleep, sadly I end up in bed by midnight and I don’t think 5 hours of sleep is enough, actually I am pretty sure it isn’t enough because I am cranky most days.  It would make more sense for me to get more sleep and be more productive during less hours of the day.

This is why parenting is so hard.  We mostly almost always know the right answers, but we don’t always do the right thing.  We also know that children see, children do and that the best way to teach a child something is by example, but we can’t always lead them in the right direction so we nag incessantly.

Every little thing we do, is something they will see and learn. For example, generally when my daughter is cranky, I have noticed that 9 out of 10 times I am too and she is just mirroring my own cranky behavior right back at me.  And no matter how many times I tell her to be nice when I am not being a nice person, it just doesn’t work.

So should I just give up on telling her the things she should be doing? Well, I thought about this one long and hard and my conclusion is no, I am going to keep telling her, because maybe just maybe I will actually listen to what I am telling her to do.  What I am going to do different is try to do more of the right thing so  I am also showing her what she should be doing.  And who knows, maybe I will eventually follow my own advice and actually go to bed early tonight.

** Coincidentally today she turns four.

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