Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Preschoolers Against Napping

I don't like naps. I don't know how to sleep.

There isn't anything a parent fights more in the growth of their child than the loss of the afternoon nap. The infamous "they" say that naps disappear between the 3rd and 4th year. I agree. Sophie's naps are starting to go away and she's going on 3 1/2.

However, naps are still very much needed.....sometimes. We're learning to discern when the young lady does and doesn't need to sleep. We're also trying to make sure that when we put Sophie to bed for a nap it's not because WE need her to take one, but because she's actually tired. Ok, we're not trying that hard on that one, but we we're working on it.

It's been interesting (and sometimes fun) to watch nap avoidance techniques evolve as Sophie gets older and wiser. What used to be just the cut and run, had become practice for a future in debate. Sometimes we get the cut and run while debating over her shoulder, but I think she's realized that she will never win the running game. Of course, there are other techniques being tried, including stalling and getting up after the door closes, but the debate technique is in full force as language skills increase.

This statement was the first time that Sophie's actually given the statement about not liking naps and then included the reason as back-up. I was impressed. I probably shouldn't have laughed, but she laughed with me and it ended up being a great hug moment for us. We've tried hard to explain a lot of the things that she and we have to do simply because she hasn't had enough life experience to know those things for herself yet. There are times when it's important that she obey then and there and she's learning that as well (especially when safety is concerned), however as we continue to treat her as a little person instead of following the antiquated adage of "children should be seen but not heard" she will learn more and faster.

Eventually Sophie will have a better reason than she doesn't know how to sleep for not wanting to nap, and as a result of that she will be able to stay up instead. That day's not here yet. After she said this wonderful statement, she went to bed and we didn't hear another peep for hours.

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