I have been thinking a lot about what happened on Xmas day and the questions that arose.
I do know that PMT and tiredness had sapped my energy and that when low on energy it is almost impossible to deal with things as rationally as you would do normally.
I also think that it is very early days since allowing Emily freedom at bedtime and she does need more time to find her rhythm again.
I was thinking back to pre school days and she always had a bedtime routine but not an actual bedtime, depending on how busy the day had been and how tired she was we would begin the routine and she would then settle down,as it happened it was around about the same time each evening, sometimes very early in the evening she would announce she was tired (one time at 5.30 when we had lots of friends and children round for a BBQ) and would head of to bed, she knew her limits then,it was only school that interfered with that happening.
We discovered Emily had always had sleep apnoea(she was born two months prematurely and had it when she was born but we didn't know it was something that carried on and just knew she had a very loud snore and woke up a lot each night!!!) and that the extra stress at school and getting so overtired meant that she could never recoup and her energy levels played a massive part in her experience at school and consequent behaviour at home, everything was magnified 100%. We would have to get her to bed by 6.30pm so that she would then sleep(with many interuptions) till 7.30am and have at least some chance of lasting the day at school.This meant no real quality of life after school for her .
She has since had her tonsils out and this has improved her quality of sleep. I suppose I have had a lot of evidence of how lack of sleep can affect her and am perhaps over sensitive and I felt guilty that as a mum I was being irresponsible in allowing her to get so tired and irritable. The reality is that now it really isn't a problem as she can find out her limitations and there is no real rush to go anywhere or do anything so during this time of adjustment we can take things slowly. Obviously Xmas got in the way and excitement played its part in exacerbating the bad behaviour, because before that she was coping well and I am sure that as the novelty wears off about not going to bed at 8.00 she will settle into a pattern that works for her.Usually by 9.00 she is going upstairs it was just in the lead up to Xmas that it was after 10.00 So I will give it longer to settle into a pattern for her, because some of Emily's best work/play has been done later on in the evening and being on the unschooling path we have taken it does not make sense to stop that flow of creativity.We will continue to talk about cause and effect and help her to see the relation between late nights and how she is feeling.
Over all I was feeling panicked and irresponsible about the fact that I was allowing her to take so many choices in her life with the freedom to do what she wants and in a subconscious way that came out in my trying to control the opening of the presents.
She has always had difficulty in controlling her impulses (part of the symptoms of dyspraxia) this occasion was no different It wasn't anything to do with unschooling it was just Emily being Emily and I should of dealt with it a different way.
Why is taking unscooling along the radical path the right thing if it is causing me so much of a problem?
I believe that for Emily free choice in what she does and when she does it will prove to be the best way for her to grow. She has already grown in confidence and with the pressure to perform off I believe she will only get stronger.Academic achievement was never going to be Emily's thing but this way she can come naturally to what her thing is !!!!
So I will have more of these wobbles,this is after all not an easy process to go through and takes a big leap of faith and trust in your child and a thick skin to keep the doubters from getting to you(I had thought I was getting a thicker skin but it seems not). I will have to spend the time analysing where my doubt comes from and will ,as I have over the last few days,log onto the very informative blogs and websites to calm my self down and carry on with renewed belief in this lifestyle.