Monday, November 10, 2008

Brain Development and Parental Frustration...

Yeah, so 60 Minutes had a segment yesterday on young drivers and how the legal driving age should be raised, nationally, to 18, because even the one year between the age of 17 and 18 can make a big difference in brain development. They pointed out (correctly) that the human brain takes about 25 years to fully develop (don't even get me started on what this means wrt drug use and alcohol use before this age...)...

I have to say though, despite KNOWING the human brain takes more than a quarter of our lifetime to reach maturity, I can't help - as a parent - but wish it matured a helluva lot faster than that...

Take the following situation as an example...

I do love my big boys - don't get me wrong on that score - but SERIOUSLY, they can be the most selfish, self-centred, self-absorbed little autobots at times...

Erik and Luey share a room. they've shared a room for the past nearly 5 years and throughout that ENTIRE time, Dave and I have tried to teach them to be considerate of the other people in the house who are trying to sleep! Including each other... This has been completely and utterly fruitless.

Erik is the main culprit. No matter what time that child goes to sleep, every morning he wakes between 4.30-5.30am and gets up, turns the light on, or starts making other noise in an attempt to wake Luey. Then they muck around, wrestle, tickle each other, argue, pretend to be various vehicles - whatever takes their fancy. Sooner or later they make their way out to the living room, turn the tv on, thump about etc. etc.

We've tried talking to them, appealing to their compassion, rewarding them and downright bribing them, threatening them, punishing them, seperating them (no easy when they can't have their own rooms). I honestly think we've tried everything within our powers to get them to be more considerate and let us sleep until AT LEAST 6.30am (7am would be a DREAM)...

Last night, I went to bed at 9pn. Ari woke at 1.15am, and I fed him and he went back to sleep by 2.45am, then he stirred at 5am and I held my breath and he went back to sleep, but was awake at 5.30am - during this time Erik woke up, started playing with electronic toy in his room, went to the loo, then went to turn the tv on, and I sent him back to his room, where he proceeded to wake Luey and they started chatting (Luey has a very high pitched, 8" steel penetrating voice)...

I tried to feed Ari back to sleep but by 6am I knew I wouldn't be getting anymore sleep today...

So, six hours of broken sleep - I know some of you would think that was reasonable. I worry though because I ended up having seizures as a result of sleep deprivation when Luey was 2, it's always at the back of my mind that I need to make sure I get enough sleep - hence the unusually early bedtime for me (and the need to get TiVo, rofl)...

Why after 5 years, of EVERY DAY being spoken to about it, do they NOT GET that other people in this house need sleep? I ended up losing my cool this morning - and no, that's not the first time. Over the years I've yelled, cried, begged for some consideration... They 9 and 7... Surely, even with another 16 and 18 years of maturing ahead of themselves, they could conceive of other people's need for some consideration by NOW???

Surely...

2 comments:

katef said...

oh I so hear you!
When the girls were little they were so enthralled by TV that I could stumble out turn on AVC kids and get another hour of peace... now that they are older, and we've discouraged TV more in general they are like thundering little elephants and screaming banshee's combined. No matter what I try I can't get them to understand that if they were quiet they'd get away with doing so much more bad stuff than when they are noisy...

granted our girls are younger than your boys and you've just burst my bubble that things might improve in the next year or so... :( When we renovate we are putting the master bed room right down the other end of the house - initially I thought that would be a bugger with little kids but now the idea is growing on me!

Nic said...

Oh thats rough Sif ((hugs)) and lots of sleep Erik and Luey vibes to you. I hope they 'get it' soon.

Teenagers and the failing parent...