Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Sleep, Bedtimes

I admit it, I feel like ranting! So I'm throwing this out there...does ANYONE out there have bedtimes for their children and if so, what are they?

My children have bedtimes, summer and winter, spring and fall, weekends and weekdays. I'm mean.

My children are ages 14, 13, 7 and 3. For this summer the 14 and 13 year olds have an 8:30 bedtime. I know they don't actually shut off the light and settle until closer to 9 and that is okay. Heading to their rooms helps relax them and get them started down the road to sleep. The younger two are in bed between 7:30 and 8:00 depending on how grumpy they are!

I know MANY people who think I am too strict, too mean, too unreasonable, too name it and I have heard it!

My 8 year old nephew had a little league ball game last night that was supposed to START at 8:00 PM! That is crazy! By 8 pm, 8 year old boys need to be settling, calming, reading stories with Mommy and getting tucked in! Not starting a baseball game! But wait, the team before them took too long so their game didn't START until about 8:45! Yes, 8:45 at NIGHT! Then it is supposed to last an hour and a half! Do the math! If a storm hadn't blown up and made them call the game, my nephew could have been playing ball until 10:15 at night! Allowing time to get home and go STRAIGHT to bed he would still have been up until at least 10:40. I don't even stay up that late!

I have noticed a pattern with sports. It is crazy, they expect hours of practice, they expect game times and practice times that make family meals virtually impossible, but it isn't just sports, all sorts of clubs and such are working to fit in around all the others and have crazy schedules! What happened to families settling down and spending some quiet time together?

So I am curious, am I an oddity or do you all have bedtimes and such for your children?

I am also the mean Mom who expects her children to actually get up all summer long! They do NOT get to sleep away the day. Their bodies do better on a schedule so they get to keep closer to their school schedule!


  1. I think it should be different for each family and even each child based on their rhythm and ability to cope.
    My oldest 2 do not have a required bedtime and they know that they are responsible to get themselves up and around and have to accomplish what's expected of them. If they don't their are consequences handed out. They are old enough that I believe it is ridiculous for me to tell them to go to bed.
    Micah goes to bed around 9pm during the school year and 10pm during the summer. We go to Taekwondo and don't get home until almost 9. I have no problem with him sleeping in a bit if he is tired from being up a little later than normal. Not all kids have to be up early every morning. And not all families run a farm. My kids don't get to sleep away the day, but they also don't have to be up really early. They will both get up just fine when school comes around so I don't have to be strict. Micah doesn't require as much sleep as Jared does. Micah can function quite well on 8 hours. Jared has always needed more. I think it should depend on the family and what they have to accomplish day to day. I don't allow my children to be involved in a whole lot of things outside the home because I don't want to run them ragged. Honestly, I wouldn't see it as a big deal to have a game now and then that runs late. We can be flexible to accomodate. We don't get home until close to 9pm on Taekwondo nights...but it has never had a negative effect on Micah. And I build rest days into our schedule. We don't have a million chores that need to be done every day so we can take time to rest when needed. It's what works for us! We are all different. Your rules are too strict for my family because we don't have the same lifestyle and requirements as you. Doesn't mean they aren't appropriate for your family!

  2. I agree that every family is different and needs to find what works for them, but I'm a huge proponent of bedtimes simply as a marriage-saver! It's important for my husband and I to have alone time BEFORE I'm too brain-dead to carry on a conversation! Even as a teenager, my parents made me go to 'bed' (my room) so they could have alone time. It really made an impact on me to see how they made their marriage a priority, and now we've carried that habit over to this day.

  3. I agree, Cory and I NEED the time without the kids to talk and renew and such. But I also have children that NEED sleep. Given the opportunity my oldest will go to bed at 7 or 8 and sleep until 10 or 11 before she wakes. That is IF she hasn't been doing a good job of following her schedule. And I understand about an occasional late game, and we occasionally will be out later or whatever but I think it is a bit much to START a game at 8 or 8:45 when kids are that young and I see it happening more and more often. I tried a summer when the kids could go to bed later and sleep in later. It seemed like it worked until you factored in that Cory and I struggled with our time alone and the kids really struggled to get up and around for school when it started in again. That struggle continues to this day and that was 2 years ago! I believe each body has a natural rhythm and that needs to be stuck to. More sleep or less sleep is fine. I just see a LOT of people who have giant swings. Up at 5 most of the time for work or whatever and bed at say 10, then on weekends, up until 2 or 3 in the morning and sleep until 2 or 3 in the afternoon, then they are grumpy and groggy and wonder why! And yes, your family will be different than mine but even your younger child who has a later bedtime than my children HAS a bedtime (and your older ones are older than mine and I relax my times each year as the kids show they can handle the responsibility). Unfortunately I know a LOT of families that simply have no guidelines or bedtimes and THAT is what I was wondering. Do you have a basic schedule? You must since you don't let them sleep the day away or stay up all night. That is more what I was after. Not to see if you had the same rules, just a general do you have rules. I am glad to see that I am not the only Mom with rules like bedtimes. Sometimes people (other kids) ridicule my kids because they have a bed time or because they have to get up in the summer. And I just wondered if I am the only one out there that mean to my kids!

  4. You are not the only Mom with summer/bedtime rules. I also have them - not as much but do have them. I have one that is a complete grump if he does not get enough sleep. And another that pushes until he gets sick.

  5. Kinda funny, but the day I wrote this, the two oldest children ended up staying up late. The next morning, my oldest looked at me and said, "I sure like it better when you make us go to bed on time, I have a headache and feel really off when my sleep is messed up!"

    I just thought it was funny that she did it that night!