Being prone to romanticizing the inherent (supposed) wisdom in the innocence of children, I often waffle on the notion of children being capable of self-regulation. Mostly, out here in the uber-liberal Pacific Northwest, I sit feeling a little uncomfortable - feeling like a control freak - while parents who seem to know more than I do tell me about how children should be able to use their innate wisdom to govern themselves.
I have felt almost ashamed of the way I've developed rules for my kids. I don't allow them unlimited TV or computer time. I don't allow them to eat whatever they want, whenever they want. They have a bedtime.
But tonight, being Halloween, I decided to try something a friend of mine claims worked with her kids - I let my kids eat as much of their Halloween candy as they cared to eat. With self-regulation and natural consequences, how bad could it be? A tummy ache followed by an understanding of the need to consume less sugar?
Here's a "natural consequence": I'm no longer going to allow myself credulity when parents toss that nonsense at me.
They aren't the ones scrubbing gummy candy puke out of my carpet while my three-year-old alternates crying about her sick tummy and crying because she still wants to eat more candy.