Whilst attending a school camp yesterday ( for 8 and 9 year olds), and last night, having been called in to helping with the Barbecue (I did offer), I was amazed at the conversations around the camp.
Yes, I was eavesdropping I guess, but I was standing in the crowd, and if people didn’t want me to hear it they shouldn’t have said it! One Dad was proudly explaining that his son had grown up in an adult environment (a single child), and had gone to bed when the adults had gone to bed, and had never had a ‘bed-time’.
Now I don’t know about you, but every expert I’ve ever talked to says children need proper sleep ( more than adults do) and they need routine (i.e. a regular bedtime), and the need to be TREATED AS CHILDREN.
The Mum listening was says “Of course he did!” as if a child going to bed at ten or eleven p.m. was normal, and “Sure he did!” when told that he did as he wanted. Well….. I was a MUM IN AWE! In awe of the amazingly irresponsible way to bring up a child, and the ability to be proud of it!
Obviously, these parents have been told the error of their ways, because the Dad was then saying that they now have been told to put structure in the child’s life, and bring his bedtime to a reasonable hour, and he was remarking on how difficult it was.
This is the same child who has been diagnosed as needing help in class due to ADHD ( see my opinion on that at another time), is extremely disruptive in class (maybe tiredness exacerbates that?), and doesn’t eat properly ( well, if you’re an adult – or treated as one – you can do what you want surely?). However, I saw no evidence of not eating the food at the barbecue, there were finger food mainly, due to the need for washing up needing to be minimal, we had baby tomatoes, cucumber, beef patties, sausages, watermelon and honey melon. All yummy and made for happy children.
So, what are the tips for happy childhood then? ROUTINE, and ORDER, and healthy food, and plenty of love, and treating the child like a CHILD do they can have a childhood, and grow up healthy and happy I think. Mind you, that’s just my opinion, you are welcome to your own. But if you end up having to re-train your child into routine at the age of 8 – as Dr. Phil McGraw would say “GOOD LUCK with THAT!”.