Is scheduling my child’s day a ‘Military way’ of parenting?
When asked to come for a birthday party at 5 pm on a weekend, I obliged and mentioned I would be leaving for bedtime routine at an appropriate time. Our host was surprised and called our style military style parents!
Now one could be a flexible parent with different adult sleep needs who could deal with night awakenings, morning “catch up “sleeps and random tantrums through the next day that could be soothed with a car ride or stroller walk. However, in today’s double income earning families that thrive on zoom meetings, showing up for certain meetings and speaking up with confidence and focus, are high demands on a new parent. Work from home or work from office, one needs the mind space to focus on parenting. This parent could also the one juggling a free-lancing work schedule with an infant in hand and toddler to handle at home which is by the way equivalent to the stress faced by healthcare workers in emergency rooms and soldiers on the battlefield by researchers. So yes, circling back to our daily work and parenting duties, yes military style is probably the way to go to deal with that kind of stress.
Contrary to our belief system that routine, rules and laws cause stress, these are boundaries that we thrive on. Similarly, our children, whether infants, toddlers, preschoolers thrive on these lines. Creating a space where certainty is expected is a sure shot way of raising a secure child. Boundaries are guidelines that help a child thrive within. Boundaries ae not rigid. Just as how the military change their protocol depending on terrain, season, and resources: as parents we change our boundaries dependent on season, age, family size and work lives.
Productivity gurus insist on scheduling as that is the mantra for increasing our results. Hard work alone does not pay the same results. A parent could work hard through the day, exhausted at night and still not be able to meet the deadline at work and achieve progress on tantrum handling at home.
Scheduling is the executionary pathway to the ‘Work Smart’ campaign. Results in parenting work are reflected as good behavior, lesser tantrums, tantrum prevention and hassle-free meal and bedtimes. All this is achievable and am speaking just like your good project lead would say about completing that project within time allotted, without errors and with a great presentation.
All this is possible! So go ahead be military style and do guilt free scheduling not to control your child but to give her the controls on achieving the best possible day she can with restful sleep and lesser tantrums.