stupid rules

it’s becoming a morning routine: i start getting the clothes ready, the child starts whining angrily, ‘i don’t WANNA go to margie’s’. he yells. he wails. what’s the problem here?

stupid rules. he has to follow the stupid rules.

now, this is nothing really new – the first mention of this came late last year when he informed me that he wanted to go on slime time live (a nickelodeon game show) to win the jimmy neutron ultra-orb toy he wanted so badly. when i mentioned santa might bring it he got angry and said, he didn’t want anything from santa. why? stupid rules.

it gets better when he’s full awake, but my little night owl child fights the ‘bedtime rule’ with more energy than i have to enforce it, and is consequently not ready to wake up at 7:45. and i know just how he feels, i wake up whiny too. it’s pretty pathetic, one non-morning person trying to get another non-morning person ready to go, when both of them have no desire to get out of bed.

and i’ve not yet discovered how to engage my son in the sort of philosophical discussion that would lead him gently to the conclusion that we really do need rules in the world. we have a few too many for my taste, and too many rules makes me fussy too, but i do concede the need for structure. just, not exactly the structure we have, but some structure.

oh, it’s all about the grey areas here. and all this confuses me so, when i’m trying to wrestle clothes onto a child that keeps burrowning under the covers and curling up in a little ball of anarchy.

17 thoughts on “stupid rules

  1. oh man, that thing rocks. and he hasn’t played with it in awhile, i think i’ll remind him this evening.

  2. (psst! Could you email me? I’m silly and can’t find your address! And I have some questions!!!!)
    We now return you to your regular comments – move along quietly now!
    Heh.

  3. Let him stay up on a friday night and then wakehim up early on Sat. When he is tired all day explain why. heheh Yea I know it doesnt work like that, but that is what my folks did. And I learned to goto bed most of the time.

  4. i know this doesn’t help, but it’s not natural for a little kid to have to get up and go someplace else early in the morning. i know. i had to wake mine up and take him to the babysitter at 4 am from the time he was three until i lost my job five years later. this set-up isn’t fair to kids or families but what are ya gonna do?

    i saw a 20/20 report a year or two ago about exactly what you’re going through, btw–the wearing you down at bedtime and staying up late thing. they showed a family with that problem and had some expert work with them. it took awhile, but having a bedtime routine–bath, story, etc.–that never varied, did the trick for that family, and made mornings much more pleasant.

  5. hmm, well, i think we would probably drive any ‘expert’ screaming out into the street in no time at all. the problem is more my fault than anything, and it’s as much the passing of my genes as anything else.

    from the time i was very young, i would stay up half the night, all the time. we didn’t have PCs in those days, so i’d sit up in my cave banging out bad childish poetry on stone tablets. but i am the sort of person that, if left to my own devices, will stay up later and later each night till i’m going to bed when the sun rises.

    and now we have computers. and we like to stay up on our computers. we have somewhat of a routine, but then he stays in bed till our guards are down, then gets up – wide awake. and i’m wide awake too! we usually end up crashing on the couch together.

    poor kid, his mom’s a nightowl weirdo.

  6. yeah, i kinda had a feeling it was useless advice. does he take a nap during the day at the sitter’s? maybe you could tell her to stop the naps. my kid stopped his at about age 4 and then he went to sleep a lot better at night.

  7. It may sound a bit harsh, and it would really depend on how old your son is, but there are ways to show him why rules are important. Take him on a tour of a jail and show him what happens to people when they don’t follow “stupid rules.” Or have him go on a ride-along with a police officer. Tell the officer before hand how your son is having a hard time understanding why he has to follow certain rules. If you have a good officer, they’ll be able to handle it very well.

    But, both of these things are dependent on how old your son is. If he’s only four or five, he’s too young for this. The other thing to do, regardless of his age, is find ways of relating it back to him and his life. When a playmate does something that hurts or upsets him, explain to him how there are rules in place to try to stop those things from happening. Kids learn well when you make it seem relevant to them.

  8. i tend to go along with the ‘you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar’ approach. the scared-straight doesn’t work at any age, imho. i do agree that showing them the relevance of rules — maybe the payoff for them — is key when they’re misbehaving. but i don’t think not being able to sleep is misbehaving. it’s not his fault. being tired in the morning has nothing to do with rules.

  9. yeah, he’s just now turned five, which makes it a little difficult to communicate the consequences of not following rules, or why society is better when there are rules.

    i mean, my babysitter watches up to 6 toddler/preschoolers, most of ’em little boys. there is, by necessity, a much higher level of daily structure there, than at our house.

    i’m trying to talk to him about all the new rules there are going to be when he goes to school in the fall, and i’m hoping by then he’ll be comforted by the fact it’s, for instance, against the rules for big bullies to beat him up.

    we’re working on it.

    oh – and lavonne — you’re absolutely right, the tired in the morning is the way we are, and that’s when he’s most likely to whine and protest — generally by the time margie gets here, he’s grabbing a video to bring with him and bouncing out the door.

    mornings are hard for us. probably they always will be.

  10. school will probably be just what he needs, to give him lots to think about and do, and wear him out! he’s gonna love school, i bet.

  11. either very good or very bad, depending on how well he can settle down.

    btw, i’m emailing back and forth with Amy of Domesticat (she of the site-skinning tutorial) and i’m going to see if i can find out why the skins don’t work for everyone.

    do you think my “ms smart tags prevent parsing” is pissing off bill gates in some way 🙂 ?

  12. “do you think my “ms smart tags prevent parsing” is pissing off bill gates in some way 🙂 ?”

    that’s it. of course. why didn’t you say so?

  13. If you figure this out will you please let me know?
    I’m a night owl, so is my son…
    I’m not a big fan of conformity, so it’s hard for me to really enforce rules that I don’t feel are that important.
    It’s extremely difficult to find a balance here.
    Of course rules are important, but some of them, in my opinion just don’t make much sense.

    Oh and I was in the scared straight program and we laughed at it after we got away from the scary people. (some day I’ll blog about it)

  14. Hey, kd, get this, Pazuzu’s computer still parses smart tags, even on all my pages on the VASE, all of which are SPECIFICALLY set up to prevent parsing.

    THEY LIE! THEY LIE!

    *waving arms arond like Zim*

  15. those BASTARDS! i think that’s just the most evil thing, to take somebody’s page and hijack it like that, put links where there were no links, potentially stealing away visitors – i mean, it’s one thing on a blog, but what if they did that to my company’s site? what if whenever we mentioned the word ‘phone systems’ it linked to our competitor?

    evil, evil, evil. wow, this deserves some coverage.

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