Manic Monday

G is an early riser – we’re talking farmer hours.  We actually have a rule that he cannot get up for the day before 6am.  We put a clock in his room when he was 3 and had a picture of 6am next to the clock so he could start learning to tell time.  He can turn on his lights and read some books, but he cannot come to our room and wake us unless it is after 6.  This early rising habit works in our favor during the school week because we never have to use alarm clocks and we have plenty of time to leisurely eat and dress before we have to leave. 

This habit is not so fun on the weekends.  DH and I take turns sleeping in and the unlucky parent will stumble down to the basement with G and let him have ‘Wii Morning’ while dozing on the couch.  He is so good at getting the tv equipment started that we don’t have to do anything until he asks for breakfast.

So this past weekend we decided to try something new.  The night before we put a cup of milk in the beverage fridge in the basement and left a bowl of  dry cereal covered in plastic wrap.  We told him he could go straight down to the basement and start playing video games without having to wake us first.  He sounded pleased by this new privilege.  Until morning.  He was very upset and kept repeating that he could never ever get up without us.  So we decided to scrap Operation Sleeping Beauty and went back to the usual routine.

We tried something new and it didn’t fly.  That should have been the end of it, yes?  Oh no no no! This morning G came to wake me and was extremely upset.  He  had already gone down to the basement and didn’t find any milk or cereal.  He was demanding I put it downstairs right away so he could play wii.  I patiently explained that video games were only for weekends, that it was monday and that the routine was the same as always because it was a school day.  The rest of the morning was an emotional roller coaster.  He’d calm for a few minutes before weeping and wailing a few minutes.  Then he’d calm again, wail again, repeat repeat repeat.

Once I was able to get him to eat breakfast, he seemed to settle.  Since food helped, I stuffed his backpack with extra snacks and warned his teacher.  I guess we needed a reminder of just how important stability and routine are to G.  I still think the new weekend plan could work for him, we just need to wait until spring break or summer vacation before we change things up.

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Published in: on February 1, 2010 at 10:58 am  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Maybe you could even try having the one parent still go with him in the morning while he makes his own cereal. Perhaps if you are still there, all the while telling him how next time he can do it all by himself, the transition to that new routine won’t be so tough. I always remind myself when trying something new that if it doesn’t work, it was probably too much at once. Break it down into smaller pieces, right??

    We had a similar rule about not getting up before time X for awhile too. I love the independence they have when they can get up and read a book in their room or something. C now seems to have a pretty amazing internal alarm clock, which is cool. I’ll bet G does too!

  2. Actually, he only eats dry cereal with a cup of milk on the side, he hates when his cereal gets wet. I guess I didn’t mention that because it’s our normal and I forget that most people put milk *on* their cereal. lol

    I’ve been so amazed at how flexible he’s been with schedule changes lately, that I thought this change would be easy. But I wonder now if perhaps he’s been able to roll with changes more easily because he has such a stable home routine to rely on.

  3. […] G took another small but meaningful step toward independence this weekend.   Operation Sleeping Beauty was a complete success!  Friday after school, I gave G the choice of waking us up to go downstairs […]


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