Thursday, April 10, 2008

Polemics of Parenting - Part II

There are other highly controversial areas like attachment parenting (also known as proximal care) and whether moms should work at home, stay at home, or work outside of the home, and how long and in what manner should children sleep.

I have to say that I am generally pretty happy with Sophie's sleep hygiene habits. She goes to bed by herself and generally sleeps for 12 hours a night. But lately she's been howling to get out of bed at 5 am. This has happened once or twice last week, so I am putting it down to the change from being one week in Singapore and the adjustment back to Beijing. Still, I normally let her cry for a while and go back to sleep, but she hasn't managed to settle these last couple of days. I did some checking with alot of friends with older children, and it seems that 24 months is some kind of watershed where a lot of activity is going on in their brains and kids can get night-terrors and other sort of scary stuff.

I am an advocate of "cry it out" in that if Sophie wakes at night, I actually let her self-soothe for 10 minutes and go back to sleep herself. But any parent will tell you that children cries sound different depending on what they are feeling, and no parent should (or even find it possible) to ignore the screech that comes from a genuinely frightened child. I cannot tell you how it sounds different from a normal "My crib is quiet and boring - come and get me" cry to a "There's a wolf in my closet" kind of cry. It simply is desperately different, and whilst I can ignore the first, I find myself sprinting down the corridor to attend to the second.

Of course, I am trying to figure out how to magic away the wolf, but why do so many of Sophie's favourite stories feature the malignant version of this elegant animal? Same for bears - why does Goldilocks run away without apologising for all the damage she's done to their house?

Anyway these are some of Sophie's favourites:
- Peter and the Wolf
- Three little Pigs
- Red Riding Hood

I love Peter and the wolf and Sophie has this story in so many versions. But I am going to have to give it up like a bad nicotine addiction if she keeps screaming "Wolf Wolf!" (after we read the story at 9 am!!). I don't think the huffing and puffing wolf does anymore than amuse Sophie, but what's this obsession about "eating you up" which repeats itself in Red Riding Hood?


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