I have never been very good at taking advice about my kids – it doesn’t bother me like it does some people, it just kind of rolls right off of me and I honestly don’t really hear it. One piece of advice I did take seriously was from my husband’s grandmother. A.P. was about 4 months old and I was struggling to get him to sleep well. She said, “You’re going to have a lot of battles with your children, and some you will win and some you will lose. You have to win this one”. What awesome, grandmother-ly advice! She didn’t tell me how to win it, just that I had to. My kids are generally pretty Ben Franklin in their sleep habits – “early to bed, early to rise”. They’re both healthy, not at all wealthy, and occasionally wise. It doesn’t come naturally to Maybelle, but she makes an effort.
A late night for my kids is 8:30 – those are ‘summer hours’. I’ll admit we’ve been lazily moving in the direction of getting back to 7:30 which are ‘school hours’. It hasn’t been diligent by any means, but every day this week has been easier in the morning so I think we’ll be OK in a week or two. My husband has horrible sleep habits, and we both want to make sure our kids don’t repeat his struggles. When I was working evenings a few years ago, he and the kids came up with an evening routine, and a song to go along with it. “Brush teeth and read books! Brush teeth and read books! Brush teeth and read books and GO! TO! BED!” And truly; that’s about all there is to it. Apparently we’ve done pretty well; I just read that according to a sleep specialist we’re right on track. You can read that article here.
My kids aren’t horribly picky eaters, partly because I’m not and I sincerely believe that what kids are exposed to while they are in utero affects their taste buds. Also, they both breastfed (against some advice I got) for at least a year, so they ‘tasted’ what I ate and while my love of food does not always serve me well – in this case it did. My husband is a horribly picky eater. He ‘flicks’ offending items (onions, peppers, mushrooms) off of his plate. He used to anyway. He’s becoming a reformed picky eater and I couldn’t be more proud. I think you miss a lot in life when you want everything to taste like some sort of meat juice, some version of a potato, and seasonings that include too much Lawry’s and ketchup.
Last year was the first year we had to deal with snacks at school. I would estimate that 75% of the reason I volunteered in A.P.’s class was to see what other kids brought to school for a snack. My kids love junk – and know it when they see it but also that they have to limit it. What else can you ask for? I’d start with asking for a kid who doesn’t point to something another shopper is taking off the shelf and yell “Mom! LOOK! She’s buying JUNK!”. Snack time is even shorter than lunch – which is around 20 minutes. If you need some snack or lunch ideas, here is a blog with some good ones.
Give them enough rest and feed them well – and all of the other ‘battles’ are a lot easier! That’s my advice.