why I allow my kids to eat chocolate for breakfast

It’s true.  We have total food freedom in our house.

Our four kids (under the age of 9) are free to choose what they want to eat, whenever they want to eat it.

We don’t force them to sit at the table, eat at specific times, or eat their vegetables before they get dessert.

Why?

Well you’ll have to watch the video to find out!

Warning:  This video will make you think.  It might also teach you a thing or two about stepping outside the box with your parenting.

Love Kim xo

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Happiness is a journey, not a destination

Probably the biggest change to our life in the last two weeks as been giving the kids freedom to choose their own bedtime.

This was a really tough one for me.

I’ve always been very controlling over bedtimes, believing that kids needed to be in bed at a certain time in order for them to be well rested.  

When then were going to school every day, this was true.  

School takes a lot of emotional fortitude for a child.  

They’re in a controlled environment with a lot of different personalities, and so it takes mental energy for them to work out and follow the rules.

Not to mention the horrors of peer pressure and the threat of bullying.

Survival takes energy and so rest is essential if we are not to put undue stress on their immature systems.

Since my kids do not go to school anymore, they don’t have these kinds of pressures to deal with.

Our days are spent going on fun outings, eating food they love, learning, exploring and feeling deeply loved.

Their average bedtime has moved to around 10.30pm, (probably because that’s when I usually go to bed) and they sleep until about 9am (can’t say I’m complaining about this part!).

I’m noticing that they’re starting to be more aware of their feelings as a result of not being controlled.

Because they’re not following a rule, they can tune into their themselves so much easier, as they’re not tuning in full time, to their external environment.

Last night I was snuggling in my bed with Corey and Kai at around 10pm.  Kai had just had a bath and we were watching videos on YouTube.

Suddenly Kai sat up and said “Mummy, isn’t this lovely?”

I smiled and realised that yes, it was lovely.

He continued “Tonight has been great; having a hot bath, a piece of toast and now snuggling here with you and Corey.  I love you mummy.”

Tonight wasn’t any different than any other night in his life, except that it was 10.15pm.  But I realised how everything he had done all night had been entirely his choice.  

And that freedom must’ve felt wonderful.

I’ve also realised how easy it is to be a mum, when I’m not controlling my kids all day.

Easier for me, easier for them.  

I love my life.

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Pest control, worms and head lice (and that’s just the kids)

photo

Today wasn’t the “arms wide screaming with joy it’s a beautiful life” that I wrote about yesterday.

Today was a bitch.  

I was tired through lack of sleep and hormonal.

Oh, and I’ve got worms (yes really).  That’s what happens in a house of four kids under the age of 8… no one gets off Scott free (except maybe Ryan).

And I’ve only just gotten rid of my last batch of head lice.

So let’s just say I wasn’t in the best possible parenting place.

Since last week we’ve been allowing the kids to choose their own bedtimes, as part of our freedom journey.

I’ve really enjoyed this as it meant I’m much more relaxed in my own schedule.  

We’ve done things like go swimming at 5pm when I’m usually preparing dinner and we’ve eaten as late as 8pm as there’s no rush to get them into bed early for school.

But the downside is that I haven’t spent much time with Ryan.  I miss him.

My kids follow me everywhere around the house… especially Jack who’s two years old.  

Everyone wants to fall asleep beside me, and everyone wants to be wherever I am.

It’s lovely and annoying all at the same time.

So tonight I decided that it was okay to exert just a teeny tiny little bit of control, and get them into bed early.

They were tired, and we have a busy day tomorrow.  It was fine.

(You can tell this isn’t going to end well)

My four year old daughter refused to go to bed as she was watching Ben & Holly and everyone else kept getting out of bed and following me around because they didn’t want to be left out.

Ryan was peacefully watching another episode of Breaking Bad, warmed by the fire I had lit, in blissful, child free, silence.  (I’m not bitter at all)

In that moment, nothing was going the way I wanted it to go.  

I had it all planned perfectly in my mind.  The kids would be in bed early(ish), I’d be tucked up in front of a warm fire watching Sherlock with hubby, and my worlds would be perfectly aligned.

And when the reality didn’t match the dream, I got pissed off.

I remember having a realisation that if I never had any expectations, I’d never be disappointed.

(I don’t know what caused me to have such a profound realisation, but I’m sure there was gin involved.)

Tonight I had a vision in my mind of how it would go, and I wasn’t prepared to be flexible when it didn’t happen.

Inflexibility causes control, and perceived lack of control causes anger.

And being openly angry at kids, in my opinion, is the singularly most damaging thing we can do to them.

There is something wonderful about having a truly deep connection with my kids that I absolutely love.  

But there are times when I wish they’d all just piss off and leave me alone.

Freedom perhaps, then lies, in my ability to pause between stimulus and response so that I may uphold my highest values, and shape their lives for the better.

Thank you for reading my drivel.  I’d love for you to leave a comment.

Until next time…

Kim xo

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