The thought of your children growing up and older comes like a revelation with experience to support it. From the time they are born you can only imagine how they will turn into their future selves right before your eyes. One day they are helpless, needy receivers of your assistance, then the next they turn into self sufficient, capable members of the independent world.
Whether you are a single parent, two parent household, or multi members family, the process is the same. From the age of 0-2 yrs old developmentally your children rely on the adults in their world for food, shelter, entertainment, love, and companionship. Maybe you are lucky and you have more than one child so they can have a built in playmate.
You teach your children from early on that they should get many hours of sleep to be able to function well. So they begin with sleeping 11-12 hours a day to 5 or 6 in adolescence. How is it possible for them to require 10-11 hours, get 5 or 6 and continue to function optimally? When you discover the answer to this question you will be lauded beyond measure.
So what happens to the naps after PreK? With little to no coaxing your child can fall asleep in pretty much any position, at anytime, day or night. Introduce TV and video games and sleep becomes a commodity that is traded quite nicely. What happens to the brains of these pre- adolescents when they come into contact with a video game, cell phone, computer, or in home console for video games ? Well one can only imagine the shifting chemicals that create the imprint to do it over and over again.
Try if you will to compete with the allure of the fantasy world of the video components-you will come in a distant second. You may see glimpses of your children when they are forced to eat, shower and participate in life. This is one of their first trials of independent choice in this modern, high tech world we live in. So, some might say it is a necessary part of the growth towards independence.
When they are small we make sure we meet their needs, or we hire capable others to fulfill this goal. When they are older we hope all the lessons we gave will be integrated allowing them to make decisions that will serve them well. Parents struggle with the pull towards independence which can occur as young as 11 yrs old.
No script, no plan, no belief can avoid this phase which, by the way, can last for many years! In some way children need to build upon their caregivers upbringing to help to raise themselves. If not, they will be home well into their twenties, or even thirties!
How to pull back and allow them the much needed independence. It is not always an elegant plan that works well; sometimes its trial and error until, we seem to get it right. Know that all children need to grow and if you did your job right, become independent members of the larger world.