It seems reasonable that coming on the heels of my last post I would be thinking, talking and writing about sleep.
Oh, blessed sleep.
But I’m not going to talk about my own need for sleep tonight. I’m going to talk about kids’ need for sleep. My kids “check in” their phones at night – they must be in the kitchen where I can easily find them. But based on the constant buzzing those phones emit throughout the late evening hours, there are a lot of kids who barely sleep at all.
Here’s a typical text string to my 12-year-old son (coming two hours after he’s hit the hay – and from a girl).
Hello, are u there?
Where r u?
Why don’t u answer?
Now I’m depressed.
Where r u!! Pick up please!!
I can’t sleep, where r u?
And it goes on. Good grief, girl. Get some self-esteem. And by the way, you can’t sleep because you’re GLUED TO YOUR PHONE.
My kids were good sleepers as young kids, and we’ve kept that discipline in their tweens and teens. My teens catch a very early bus and it’s a challenge to get to the bus stop even for the well-rested.
And something good has come from all that firm insistence that they go to bed at a decent time – they like (and protect) their sleep. They’re up later on the weekends, but weekdays they all turn in at a reasonable hour. Makes for easier mornings (and evenings) when your kids love to sleep.
So one of the best tips I can give you, as your kids grow, is demonstrate the value of a good night’s sleep – for yourself, and for them.
Good night, everyone…it’s time to put the A to Z Challenge to bed. Thanks for reading.
Read the series at A is for About
One year, in what I can only assume was a state of extreme sleep deprivation, I invited six relatives and a dog to stay with us over the Christmas holiday. The fact that I had a colicky newborn, a 3-year-old and a full-time job did not factor into the equation. As Christmas approached I somehow managed to buy gifts and get my house in order. But I never made it to the grocery store.
Christmas morning, I awoke to the sinking realization that I had nothing to feed the family of ten for Christmas dinner. The afternoon found me searching the freezer in a near panic trying to come up with dinner out of thin air. And then my eyes lit on a large bag of frozen meatballs bought for a party that never materialized. Voila – spaghetti and meatballs!
Although I felt pretty sheepish about it, we had a relaxed and enjoyable celebration. No one seemed bothered that we were eating such a pedestrian dinner. It was only years later when I mentioned it to one of my relatives that I realized that no one knew that I had punted dinner. They thought it was dinner as planned.
The lesson here is about expectations – are the people you serve setting them or are you? Throughout my management career I have seen an awful lot of people struggle to fulfill an expectation no one actually has. The result is a lot of unneeded work and a fair amount of resentment when the work is not ultimately appreciated as much as the effort warrants. Give yourself a break this holiday season – focus on what the people around you really expect – whether it’s kindness, competence, warmth or a reasonably good meal. And punt the rest.
Have a story about setting expectations? Send it to email@example.com. If I use it I’ll feature your business.