In order to try and enjoy the luxury of no fixed schedule over the summer vacation, we have been trying to get the boys to "sleep in" until 7am. Mostly this involved training them to wait until their digital clock says "7-0-0" (seven-zero-zero, as they call it) before they come out of their room. Generally we start to hear them around 6:30, and it just depends on how long Benjamin will stick around in the bedroom as to what time they finally emerge. Eventually, Benjamin gets bored of talking with Caleb and hops out of bed, opens the door and runs to find Daddy. Caleb always figures that if Benjamin is up, then there is no reason he needs to stay in bed.
Not so, with our people-pleaser and rule-follower Colin. Even when the other two are long gone, he sits patiently in his top bunk for those numbers to click by and finally show 7:00. Then he races downstairs as fast as he can to catch up with the morning. I thought about telling him that he doesn't have to stay in bed once the other two are up, but it would be a fruitless endeavor to try and break the habit. A rule is a rule, after all, in Colin's mind, and I don't necessarily think that's a bad attitude to have. While I hope that as he grows he learns to question authority and not blindly follow rules, it's good for him to know that as his parents, we are not creating unjust laws here. The rules we come up with are for the safety and peace of the home. Even at that, we often show we are open to hearing a child's debate on a rule, and sometimes we do reconsider. Other times he must learn that some rules have to be followed. I think it's creating a good balance for him as he navigates through society and life.