One thing that varies enormously from one parent to another, is the bed times that we ‘allocate’ to our children. It has got me thinking about how and why we decide on the times we do, and it leaves me wondering when is the right time to allow my kids to stay up later?
At the moment my daughters R and LA go to bed at 7pm roughly. Recently that time has become more and more rough. Not only are they getting older, they’re 6 and 5 now, but we’re now smack bang in the middle of a summer heat-wave and the daylight hours are definitely dragging themselves out. Some nights it’s still bright at 10pm, which probably screws things up leaving their body clocks telling them it’s still early and time to play.
An easy solution would for me to go out and buy some blackout curtains and snuff out the sunshine at the bed time they have set. However I think that days are too short as it is, why should I deprive them of a little extra ‘up’ time while the sun is out? Sure they may be a little more tired the next morning, but kids always manage to find energy from somewhere.
My eldest son LU is 3 years old and his bed time is 6pm. Again that can quite often turn into half past by the time he’s ready, but despite part of me thinking it could be time to extend his bed time, he never ever fails to go straight to sleep. He must burn himself out through his constant misbehaving and tantrums. Unlike the girls – who seem to think it’s always too early for bed – LU always seems more than happy to hit the sack.
Finally there is baby C, our 5 month old son. As a baby he doesn’t really have a set bed time just yet, but we try to send him to the land of nod between 6.30pm and 7pm. It can often take a while for him to drift off, you know what babies are like. The bad eczema on his face doesn’t help, especially in the current heat as it gets really itchy for him and when he itches he either scratches himself of knocks his dummy out which wakes him up.
I personally think it may be time to give my daughters an extra half an hour at least, possibly even an hour so they go to bed at 8pm. They definitely have the energy to spare most days, and although it will mean less ‘rest’ for Mummy and I it could also have it’s advantages, such as extra time for the girls to learn by reading books or doing ‘homework’, or just some nice quality quiet time with Mummy and Daddy to finish off their day without the noisy boys continually distracting us.
How old are your children and what time do they go to bed? When do you think the time will be right to allow them to stay up later? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment, i’d love to hear your opinions and advice on this.