With freedom comes responsibility
With freedom comes responsibility. If your kids are not going to use their freedom to choose their own bedtimes wisely, they really can't have that freedom.
I agree with this. But a parent stuck with a head full of conventional parenting practices will translate that idea into action very differently than someone with more a peaceful parenting philosophy so it needs some expansion if someone is trying to find peaceful ways of handling things.
If the need for Dad to have uninterrupted sleep is seen as a rule then the best options to get that for him are forceful and coercive.
If the need for Dad to have uninterrupted sleep is seen as an unquestioned fact of life -- like something dropped will fall -- then the situation looks and feels different. We can react differently to what our kids are asking for.
It's the difference between telling someone who can fly that they aren't allowed to and sympathizing with someone who wants to fly but can't.
Also if we see our kids as wanting to be kind, not wanting to be rude and hurtful to others and that sometimes they lack the skill to be kind and get something they want, we can treat them more respectful than if we assume they're being rude on purpose.
I'm having a little trouble figuring out what this distinction [between the two in the above sentence] might look like when put into practice. Can you help me out? This whole thread is very helpful for me as I try to learn a different way of doing things that respects my children but also sets the boundaries that I need in order to be a happy, healthy, good-mommy kind of person.
The distinction might be mostly in the emotions the situation arouses. We will naturally use different words when we're trying to sympathize with someone who wants to do something they can't and when we're trying to make them stop, e.g., trying to gain control over their actions.
"No, don't do that, I don't like it," are useful words. :-)
What kind of personal boundaries are you trying to set?
If we've been very controlling and suddenly stop, kids tend to ignore our requests to respect our preferences because it sounds like we're just trying a new tactic to control them. It might take a while before they can hear our words as a request for respect rather than an obey-me-or-else command.