Jenna Brotherton (nee. Lacey)

Hi all,

I am a new member of this group and I hope that this question is

Our son, Xander, is 15-months-old and we have only recently come into the
knowledge offered by radical unschooling and peaceful parenting. Xander has
always been on a strict sleeping/mealtime schedule, even though the rest of
our day is quite relaxed.

Now that my mind has been opened to the logic behind radical
unschooling/peaceful parenting I am struggling with what to do in some
areas. We have mealtimes pretty much sorted out (we still have our regular
mealtimes, but we also have all of Xander's "dry-food" [crackers, dried
fruit, etc] available for him to access whenever, and we've just created
and printed up food charts for the wall to give him the opportunity to tell
us if there's anything he wants from the fridge.

But sleep-times. Gosh. Xander is still so young that it seemed only
yesterday I wasn't getting any sleep at all! I am absolutely terrified that
if I change his schedule (or let him dictate his schedule) it's going to
result in crusty mummy, crusty baby and, as a result, crusty daddy. I know
I shouldn't be projecting, but I feel his sleep-schedule is not only the
last truly structured thing in his life, but it's also the one thing that
will have the most impact if it all goes wrong.

These last few weeks, since I have really "let go" and embraced the
unschooling/peaceful parenting philosophy, my relationship with my son has
been better than ever. Unbelievably better. Amazing even. I thought I was
relaxed before, but now I'm on a completely different level. And I think as
a result of that, this "enforced" sleeping-schedule is rubbing him the
wrong way, and in the last couple of days he's really started getting angry
at bed-time. Tonight was the worst so far, hence this email!

How do I let my 15-month-old have freedom to choose his sleeping times
(including having a bath at night - we live in the tropics so it's not
ideal to go to bed after sweating all day - though I do recognise that if
that DOES happen it's not the end of the world), without throwing our lives
(especially our sleep!) into absolutely chaos? I know I'm dramatizing, but
I'm truly struggling and I would appreciate any advice in this area.

Thank you in advance. :)

With regards,

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