Bedtime And Goals

Hi, my name is Kevin and I’m new here. It looks like I’m currently the only father blogger here so you might find some different ideas coming from me.  My oldest daughter has Cerebral Palsy. It would be considered minor to moderate. She currently walks with braces and she had an SDR selective dorsal rhizotomy back in may. As a parent and a father I feel my biggest job is to teach my children positive life skills and I often write about that as well as positive motivational type stuff for parents. That said I also drift all over the place as you would expect someone who has ADD and dyslexia to do.  I hope you enjoy my writing and I love feedback so please feel free to drop me a comment and let me know what you think about any article I write.

Speaking about life skills I had a truly tough interaction with my daughter last night. It was bed time and she walked into the bathroom as I was filling the tub for her and told me that she has a goal of waking up, getting ready by herself, going to the bus by herself, coming back from school and getting off the bus by herself, and then getting ready for bed by herself all in one day. She said she wanted to achieve this goal by the time she reaches third or fourth grade. I told her that was a great goal and the bath is almost ready so why don’t you get started on working on your goal by getting ready for bed.

AUTHORS NOTE: she already gives herself a bath and dresses most days.

I then got the “Daddy, I’m tired will you help tonight.” I can be a pushover but I can also be pretty tough and when it comes to bedtime routine I try to enforce self-reliance as much as possible since she gets and needs so much help during the rest of the day. Haley generally feels proud of herself for being able to do just about everything to get ready for bed. Yesterday however, she said she was very tired from therapy and wanted help. I refused.

Here is my reasoning. First I was not positive Haley was really that tired. I initially felt like this was a procrastination strategy.  Second I figure that even if she is tired and even if things are harder for her she is going to have to deal with it her whole life. Part of my job is helping her to build the mental fortitude to accomplish things that are going to be much more difficult for her than they are for the typical child. If I allow her to be tired and help her on a task that she just told me she wants to accomplish then I’m not really supporting her goal even if she is too tired today.

So what do you think? Would you have taken the hard line or was I too harsh?

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