Yesterday, I had the pleasure of running a sleep workshop at my kids' Montessori School.
"Freedom within limits" is one of the main tenets of Montessori education.
In our family - sleep is a limit. Do my kids protest it? Of course!
Our toddler's job is to push our limits, and, our job as adults to keep those limits firm.
So - where do I give them freedom? So many places! They get to brush their teeth before we give a "touch up". They have a pee on their own on the potty. They pick their pyjamas. They get themselves dressed. They choose the book.
But the limits? They brush their teeth. They have a pee. One or two books depending on whether they have "dilly-dallied". They get into bed. Lights off at 7pm. One visit from a parent 10 minutes after bedtime. That's it.
As much as our kids protest these limits, they also feel safe within them. And, the more you hold those firm limits, the less protest you get.
You know what else makes them feel safe? A good night's sleep!