This is the problem with parenting advice even really good parenting advice. Sure you can give pretty safe general advice if you look at a child’s developmental stage and you can give even better general advice if you also take the child’s temperament into account and then if you have some time to sit down and discuss the family culture and the school culture (if the child is in school) and the broader world in which the child exists, then you can give pretty good advice because it’s not general anymore.
There is not one right way to manage bedtimes or bedtime routines.
Generally speaking a predictable bedtime routine contributes to what sleep experts call “sleep hygiene.” Good sleep hygiene is important. However some kids need less predictable bedtime routines. Some kids with anxiety may become too dependent on predictable routines and so that general good advice doesn’t work for those families. Those families need something more personalized.
Or tantrums. There is not one right way to deal with tantrums. Some kids tantrum because their parents are too lax. Some kids tantrum because their parents are too strict. Some kids tantrum because that’s where they are developmentally and it has nothing to do with their parents.
If you join the membership we’re going to spend a whole lot of time figuring exactly who you are and who your child is. We’re going to honor your unique needs, challenges and gifts.
We’re not just trying to solve this problem, the one that made you join the membership; we’re also trying to give you and your child insight for you to take into the future. Part of this is building concrete understanding of our selves (parent and child, together and alone) and part of this is learning how to problem solve in a way that works for everyone in the family. That way when you’re looking at One Size Fits All Parenting (or other) advice you’ll know what’s worth considering and what’s not worth the bother.
And I’ll tell you what, the parents who work with me often feel lost but they know so much more than they may realize when they’re peering into the murky confusion that brought them to the membership. Sometimes the very first part of our work is throwing out all that unsolicited One Size Fits All Parenting advice (from friends, family and strangers) because that’s making the crisis even murkier.
“Shouldn’t she be past this by now?” they ask me.
“Why?” I ask back.
“Well, I read it somewhere/my mother told me/all her friends have stopped doing it.”
And yes, sometimes she should be past this by now and we’ll work on it but sometimes she shouldn’t be and that’s fine and once the parents know that they feel a whole lot better about it.
So. No one knows your child better than you do. I know that and if you’re doubting it, I will help you know that, too.