**I have come to realize that this post is fairly unclear as to it's intentions. This was probably due to my inability to function on extremely low levels of sleep...oh yeah and the screaming child in the next room! I apologize now, but have no desire to edit the following at this time. ENJOY!**
This is the name I have given to those rules/ideals that are just not an option. They are mine and they are here to I thought before I had children.
These thoughts are coming to mind as we are upon All hollows Eve tomorrow. This holiday is not one that I particularly enjoy a great deal and I always thought that we would just "skip" this holiday. Not for reasons you might think however.** Ok so back to Non-negotiables. As I said I was reminded of these by tomorrow's holiday and all of the negative things it brings. When I first became a parent there were, in my mind, certain things that I was just not going to allow because of what I foresaw as a negative effect. For example: sleeping children in our bed, blatant disobedience, a child replying "no" to a parent, name calling, getting out of your bed at night, nuk/pacifiers and alike, just to name a few. I have quickly learned that this list is now so short that you only need a couple fingers to count the rules that will simply NEVER be broken....but that's OK. Because I have realized that parenting isn't about fighting the's about choosing which ones to fight and knowing exactly why you are fighting them.
So tonight, in the midst of Lilly getting in and out of her bed upwards of 20 times a night recently, Scott and I switched it up. We are no longer going to bring her back every time. (Why? Because we couldn't answer "why" we were doing it other than it was a suggestion we heard from someone else.) She will have to do it on her own...happy or not. And we quickly learned she is not happy about it. She stood in the doorway screaming at the top of her lungs in a tone that should only be used when screaming into your pillow. Surprisingly all 3 other children stayed slumbering in their beds, which are feet away from where this crime was happening. It was then that Scott and I decided the screaming was not the battle....even though it may wake 3 other sleeping children, 1 of which is sick and needs her rest, but instead the battle was that she needed to realize that there were consequences to her not following what we had said. And furthermore...that we were going to follow through by golly! And that we did. We stuck to our plan, fought the good fight and a short 35 minutes and much screechy screaming later she is asleep. That's it. She has realized the err of her ways and has decided to follow our rules now, with strict obedience. Well...ok maybe not, but for now my rules for non-negotiables has been met. We chose an issue and stuck to it and knew precisely why we were doing it. And for worked. Be sure that I will update how this plays out in the future as well.

**I am under the belief that children can have "make believe" holidays that mean nothing evil or ill willed. Take Christmas for example....I am all about allowing my children to believe that there is a St. Nick and that he will bring them presents. Truly they know, that the holiday itself is not all about those things...but they are children and I think for us...this is ok. Easter...same thing. Easter is a Christian Celebration and my children know the story well. They do, however, think that there is an Easter bunny too...and he they also adore.


Ehlan said…
Wow, tough one! Good job sticking to your guns! I think that having the fear of waking other sleeping children will be VERY hard for me!

I too agree with your holiday philosophy--we will be trick or treating and enjoying lots of candy...just for the fact that we can dress up and eat lots of candy. Not for devil worship. ;)
I too agree with the philosophy. As parents, we can choose the extent to which we want to push/participate in the hoopla surrounding the holidays. I down play some, and hype others.
I agree with Ehlan, I would have had a hard time, so good for you! Those tough battles are the hardest ones and the most learning experiences.
4under3 said…
Ohhh...let's talk about this more often from now on. It's nice to know about others and their experiments with their children.

Take Julia, for example. She used to come down in the middle of the night. Then, daddy would take her back up. One day we decided that she was to do it on her own. She realized quickly that staying in her bed was a much better idea then walking around the house in the dark.

Now, Luke. He's a different story. He might not even make it to our bedroom if he got out in the night. So, now we lock his door from the outside. He's our non-negotiable one. He's at the age where he just can't be reasoned with.

You do what you gotta do. Let's talk about this more, eh?


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