Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Good Night, Sleep tight!

Well after another couple of weeks of non sleeping my son seems to be pulling it round again.He went to bed at 2.30am this morning. We are learning to treat it like jet lag. His sleep patterns get out of synch and then he has to gradually turn it round an hour at a time day by day.
We refuse to let it get us down, it makes home educating together harder as I'm often asleep when he's awake but we use our moments together and I leave books around for him to read when he's not tired. Despite lack of sleep the questions still keep on coming."What's a pleb mum"."What do you think of Gay marriages" "Religious views have caused a lot of wars"- it doesn't stop my twelve year old from being inquisitive.
As I think I've said before we have already discussed , shopping at night and working from home when he's older- he may have to  consider night shifts if these sleep patterns continue but it won't be the end of the world.
An interesting question about sleep came up on one of my home educating forums recently. I was pleased to see that most of those parents whose advice I respect and who have more experience than me had adopted a similar attitude, adapting the environment to suit their child, rather than trying to force their child to sleep. In fact one parent came up with a brilliant idea. Like my son, her child was missing meals because he was asleep at mealtimes so she now made him a packed lunch which he ate about 2.00am!
The parents who were struggling were the ones who saw their child's behaviour as 'deliberate' - getting out of their responsibilities and 'mucking up family time'. They were stressed and angry and it was getting them nowhere. They felt guilty as parents because their children were on screens too much and not going out the house. One lady said her child hadn't been out since Christmas
It is horrible, you feel like a bad parent because your child is going against everything you are taught is right to be a good parent. I have been in their shoes (and not all that long ago). I too have posted for advice. What I do know is that my son IS NOT doing this on purpose. He wants to sleep.Putting pressure on him will only cause us all stress so we have to work with where were at in order to get where we hope to be.
 I learned yesterday that screens emit a blue light similar to daylight which tells the brain that it's still day therefore it makes you feel awake. It is no good ordering my son to switch off all his screens because it isn't good for him .He will just get angry and go into meltdown because I'm trying to 'control' him. However he will accept scientific facts so I have dropped that in in conversation for him to mull over. One thing I have learned is that I'm not alone.This is a very common problem, particularly with Autistic children in their teens and we need to do what we can to help them, NOT force them. What I have realised is that we haven't had many meltdowns recently, despite the blip in sleep patterns and my concerns, my son seems happy because we are not trying to turn him into something he's not. A family is there for it's members NOT it's members for the family!

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