Friday, May 14, 2010

some food for thought...

We're going to do it.

The big move.

The major transition.

Alright, so we're just moving Noah from a crib to a bed, but it kinda, sorta feels as though it's a really big deal. And it probably will be. To him. (And me...)

So I started thinking through the transition like I do all things - I googled it.

Specifically "transitioning from a crib to a bed". Every single site I clicked on and article I read cited one of the signs your child is ready is that they are climbing out of the crib.

*small rant coming. You are warned.

Why is this a sign of being ready for a bed? For MORE freedom? So basically we reward the inability to respect boundaries with MORE freedom? Perhaps at first glance this seems like the perfect sign that your child is ready for a bed. He/she is getting older, more co-ordinated, able to climb and get out and about. But upon closer inspection, perhaps it's not the wisest thing to do.

It wasn't until I was talking with my friend who is a few years ahead of me in the child-rearing business (which by the way, every Mom should have a friend who is a couple years ahead of them to give them tips, warnings, and just to see what's coming up!) and this subject came up that I started thinking this whole thing through. It struck me after our conversation that if it's the fear of your child getting hurt by falling out of the crib that is motivating you, why aren't we treating it like a hot stove or a busy street?
This is something that is dangerous and you need to obey me when I say STAY.
And then either discipline or natural consequences occur when the parent is NOT obeyed.
On the other hand, I think it's a sure thing that children (all children) get to an age (some earlier, some later....some MUCH later) where they test. They test boundaries. They test rules. They test EVERYTHING. It's how they learn. And our job as parents is to be consistent and to show them and tell them where the boundaries are. What the rules are.
Of course it's not our only job (we need to laugh and smile and love and create and enjoy and give and plant gardens and explore nature and run and make up games and talk in silly voices, too) but it IS a part of what it means to be a parent.
So my main beef is that just because your child can climb out of a crib does NOT mean they are ready for a bed. They definitely could be ready, but perhaps if they learned to stay in the crib, they might just stay in their bed at 3am when they just feel like getting up and coming to see you. I don't know. I'm not there yet. Maybe I've got it all wrong and this transition to a bed is going to go horribly wrong.
And I also don't mean to come off as this strict "YOU WILL NEVER GET OUT OF YOUR BED BY YOURSELF EVER. UNTIL YOU ARE 16 YEARS OLD." kind of parent. I've learned to "never say never" as a parent. I've learned that there are always exceptions to the rule. And not to worry if you have to bend or change a rule on occasion.
But ground rules are good. And important.
So if you moved your kid from a crib to a bed because they were climbing out, well, I hope it worked out! I'm sure it did. I mean, you don't see 16 year olds bugging their Mom at 2am because they want to play with their Legos or at 5:30am because they're ready to eat Lucky Charms (in fact, you'd be hard pressed to find ANY 16 year old who wants to get up and start their day at 5:30am!).
I guess I'm just stirring the pot a bit, questioning why every single website says the same thing when it just strikes me as not quite the best reasoning and generally wondering aloud in this big 'ole blogosphere. No judgement...merely bringing something to light and hopefully someone else will "get me".
Wish us luck! We're going to build the bed tomorrow and maybe a nap will happen - I don't really have a game plan, I'm just going to play it by ear and see how it goes. Pictures will be taken, perhaps some video and an update will most definitely be in the works.
You know me...I always need a challenge.

1 comment:

  1. I love your critical thinking and how you don't just believe everything you read or automatically take someone elses opinion as truth. You make a great mom BECAUSE you think things through before jumping in :) Bravo!


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