I put Zoe to bed this evening with our normal routine: change into pyjama’s, brush teeth, fill sippy with water, choose and read 3 books, then lights out. Normally at lights out Bryan or I stay and rest with her until she falls asleep; this has been necessary since she would be pulling my hair or Bryan would be singing ‘snuggle puppy’. When we’ve tried to just exit at lights-out she usually cries or just gets out of bed. Anyway, tonight at lights-out time I got up to put the books back and she didn’t whine at all so I slowly backed out of her room. She watched me go and then rolled over to grab hairy doggy. I left the door open for a few minutes, and then closed it.

No fuss! wow! I’m not counting on this happening again, but I just think it’s amazing. Lately she has amazed me in many ways like this; helping me clean up without being asked, feeding Arlo, getting her own water, ‘asking’ to go outside, putting things back when I ask, and saying please. We’ve always just gone with what Zoe needed…cuddled, picked up, my hair, sleeping in our bed, whatever…that’s our parenting style. She doesn’t just get what she wants all the time, but I don’t see why she can’t DO what she wants if it’s not harmful. Anyway, I’ve ocassionally worried that we were just creating a kid who was reliant on us or spoiled, but I think we’ve done the opposite. I think by always acknowledging her and not making rules for the sake of control, we’ve helped her discover that she is an important part of our family, that her opinion matters, and hopefully that will turn into some self esteem. This obviously doesn’t mean I don’t have a kid who lies on the floor screaming when she can’t have another cup of milk, it just means that I explain to her why she can’t have it and let her cry on my shoulder while she works it out.

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