• 73°

Op-Ed: Talking about parenting – Routines return as we learn compromise

Chris Kovatch

We have begun returning to the evening routine dreaded by my children and wholeheartedly embraced by Christi and myself.

Bedtimes.

School begins very soon and so it is time to work on adjusting the kids’ evening schedules back to one that includes an earlier bedtime. Normally this process is a challenge in and of itself, but factor in how long they have been out of actual classroom instruction and you will begin to realize the increased cries of mistreatment we are encountering.
I begin every evening with the intention of the kids falling asleep in their beds. I don’t know why I try to convince myself that this is going to be possible. Repeated trips to the bathroom, multiple glasses of water, many good night hugs, and every other excuse that their creative minds develop plague us each evening. As the minutes tick by, my patience slowly begins to erode.

It’s as if the children have a gauge of just how far they need to push until I give in. I’ll will give them credit for their commitment and tenacity.
As my walls of determination begin to crumble, I slowly realize that I just want them to go to sleep. At this early point in our return to school schedule, does it really matter where they sleep and not just the fact they are sleeping? So, children litter our couches in the living room and the couch in bedroom. Silence never rings truer than at the moment the last one closes their eyes and lets sleep takeover.
I will take each day as it comes and slowly ease them back to our school routine. This year will be even more challenging than last, and it will do me good to keep that in the forefront of my mind. As adults, we are used to dealing with sudden changes, but kids don’t have the coping mechanisms we have. Couple that with the fact of the unprecedented times we are in and that can definitely create some bumps in the road for their routines. I will do my best to make the part of the day that they are with me one where I try to reduce as many stressful factors as I can.
Next week also holds a new factor that will play in my favor. Sports practices and dance classes begin. My kiddos will be exhausted when they get home. I will take the small wins where I can get them.

Chris Kovatch is a resident of Orange County. You can reach him at news@orangeleader.com