Understanding our Children

We have a rule that there are no toys allowed at the dinner table or in bed. Three weeks ago, Penelope decided to surround herself with stuffed animals at bedtime. Technically, stuffed animals are toys but they’re also a lot like pillows and provide comfort.

I chose to talk to her about it instead of making a rash decision and Penelope informed me that they “protect her” and would help her sleep. I decided to make an allowance and made a deal with her: She may take as many of them to bed with her as she wants as long as she’s not playing and makes a good effort to fall asleep.

I believe consistency is one of the most important ingredients in parenting but that understanding is equally important.

If Penelope feels secure and safe surrounded by thirty stuffed animals while she sleeps, I’m not going to tell her no. She agreed to my conditions and there have only been a couple of nights I have had to take her stuffed animals away.

We have been given our children on loan as a gift and they deserve to feel understood just like every other human being in this world.

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