Parenting all night? You've got to be joking

Twilight parenting involves giving in to your child's penchant for play in the middle of the night ... or does it?
Twilight parenting involves giving in to your child's penchant for play in the middle of the night ... or does it? Photo: Getty Images

Attachment, helicopter, permissive, uninvolved, authoritarian, indulgent - when it comes to parenting styles, it seems anything is possible. But when news of the latest parenting style hit our desks yesterday we were, quite frankly, gobsmacked.

'Twilight parenting' involves giving in to your child's penchant for play in the middle of the night. Instead of trying to lull children to sleep when the stars come out, mums and dads are encouraged to join in and even encourage their little one's wakeful antics, according to US website The Huffington Post

Child psychologist Suzanne Thomas told HuffPost that parents should not get upset about their own lost sleep, but see the twilight hours as an opportunity to bond with their children.

In her book Parenting From Dusk 'Til Dawn, Thomas suggests ways to have fun if the kids don't want to go to bed. Ideas include staging a flashlight scavenger hunt, late night cooking ("If you’re especially tired, avoid cooking with the oven or stove as you might leave them on," the author advises), talk-it-out sessions and, our personal favourite, 3am playdates.

But wait a minute - before you start calling Thomas all kinds of rude names, or phoning your mothers' group friends to see who's up for a pre-dawn catch up, take note of yesterday's date. It might have been April 2 here, but it was still the first day of the month in America.

Some HuffPost readers fell for the April Fools Day prank, but others quickly realised the truth.

"Isn't it interesting that we parents of the 2000s will fall for a theory proposed by an unknown child psychologist which would absolutely wreak havoc with our own well being ... happy April Fools' Day to all," one reader commented.

At least one Australian parenting website fell for the prank and shared the twilight parenting trend - and even the cover of the non-existent book by the non-existent Suzanne Thomas - with their readers.

Thanks, but we'll stick with the popular Go The F*** To Sleep from best-selling author Adam Mansbach. It sits much better with our parenting believes - and our love of a good night's rest.