Any tips for sticking to an "early" bedtime during the summer?

Caitlyn - posted on 03/23/2012 ( 23 moms have responded )

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I have two daughters - Ashley (12), and Sarah (14). We've found 7:00PM to be a reasonable bedtime for the both of them and it's worked well. When each reached middle school (6th grade) we modified it somewhat and they can delay sleeping until 8:00PM if they want to read in bed (this doesn't happen often and when they do they tend to go to sleep by about 7:30 anyway). Same bedtime for school nights, weekends, and summers. I know though that there's a lot of pressure to be "cool" and stay up late at that age - I worry whether since sarah is starting high school this fall if there will be issues with keeping bedtime where it is and going to sleep when it's still light out.



We would very much like to keep this routine until they're off to college. I wanted to know though if anyone has tips for keeping this the rule as they get older?

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User - posted on 03/23/2012

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We have a 5 & 6 year old with strict 7pm bedtime even on wkends and summer vacation. However, in my opinion, by 12 & 14, 8pm sounds a bit early. I would suggest 830 to read and lights out by 9. And yes, the high schooler will fight you on it.

Good luck!

Nikki - posted on 03/23/2012

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My daughter who is 5 has to be in bed by 7.45, and gets 15 mins to read. My son who is 14, doesn't have to be in until 9.00 (9.30 at weekends).... All of his friends have a similar curfew. I think 8pm is a bit early to be honest. Only my opinion though. xx

Nikki - posted on 03/24/2012

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I have blackout blinds in their bedrooms. It is hard for the younger one, as she can hear others out playing, but as long as she is reading and in bed i dont mind if she isn't asleep. you can't make them sleep :)

Leslie - posted on 03/24/2012

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We have four children, 10-15 years old, bathtime starts at 8pm. Quiet time is 9pm as in we hear no radios, yelling, thumping etc. We realize we cannot tell them when to sleep but we do not want running around and playing after 9pm. My husband leaves for work at 5:30am so year round this is in effect. On weekends if they are quiet they may stay up and watch tv. We sleep right below the living room. Their computer cuts off at 10pm on weekends, 8pm on weeknights...love parental controls. :). They are also not allowed to use the telephone after 9pm. Only our 14yo has a cellphone - we have tied it to middle school and grades.

User - posted on 03/23/2012

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We have a 5 & 6 year old with strict 7pm bedtime even on wkends and summer vacation. However, in my opinion, by 12 & 14, 8pm sounds a bit early. I would suggest 830 to read and lights out by 9. And yes, the high schooler will fight you on it.

Good luck!

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Reena - posted on 04/18/2012

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That sounds a little early to me for their age-- although I can relate to wanting some quiet time to yourself.



We have four kids ages 4, 5, 14, and nearly 16.



Our 4 and 5 year old go to their bedroom around 7:30 PM and tend to goof off for a solid hour.

*sigh*



Friday-night we do kiddie movie night and they stay up a little later until 8:00 PM.



Sometimes they go right to sleep. They are typically up by 6:00 AM.



The older kids are *suppose* to be in bed by 9:00 PM on school nights. They are usually in their bedrooms by this time and in bed by 10:00. My SD (16) has to catch the bus at 6:30 AM- so she is up early. She has some activities after school and if there is a soccer game or track meet, she may not get home until 10:00.



On the weekends, we still want them in their bedroom between 9-10, usually when we go to bed. We have to get up with the little ones. Sometimes they go to sleep at a reasonable time and other times they stay up late and feel crappy the next day. We are letting them figure that out on their own.

Ramona - posted on 04/13/2012

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Are you expecting your kids to do anything in high school? Sports, band, choir, clubs?? I mean they do expect it for college now. I am sorry to say there will be no way to keep that sleep schedule. Dd usually comes home 8-9 pm after lacrosse and then she does homework until midnight or later.

Sherri - posted on 04/13/2012

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Exactly Katrina my kindergartner has T-ball practice from 6:30pm-7:30pm on Wed's. I can't even fathom a high schooler not being able to do anything except school because they have to be in bed at 7pm. Especially since they can't even stay up later on the weekends, vacation or the summer. They honestly can't have many friends or much of a life.

Tabitha - posted on 04/13/2012

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Wow, we have sports practice/events for at least one of the boys every night of the week until 7-8pm. And my daughter has ballet and tap until 7 once a week. We would never all make it to bed at 7 or 8. We have bedtimes set up starting around 8. But again, if we're at a game or event, that has to be adjusted. They get up at 6 am and they do alright in the morning. My 10-12 year olds go to bed at 9 and my 14 year old goes to bed at 10, he's the first one up in the morning and the first one ready to go so 10pm seems to be the right time for him. In the summer, we back it up an hour and we allow them to watch tv a little longer while in bed. But again, if we have things going on or are just hanging out with family or friends, we work around that. It's more important to me that they are able to be kids and also that we get quality time together as a family and with friends, than to make sure that I'm in bed at 9pm. I'm usually heading to bed around 10:30-11 after starting the last load of laundry for the day.



If you live out in the country, the bus isn't dropping them off until probably around 4-4:30 in the afternoon. How do they have time for anything after school? That doesn't leave much time for anything outside of homework, dinner and shower. Do they have chores too? When do they have time to be just kids? In the summer, will they need to get up at 5:30am still? I'm not trying to judge, I just can't see how your kids have any sort of life at all if they're sleeping it away at 7pm every night. What do you do with the other 2 hours before you go to bed? You've only had your kids for a few hours so you shouldn't need alone time already.

Katrina - posted on 04/12/2012

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A high school kid with a 7pm bed time, seems unreasonable. Do they play sports? If they do play sports in high school they won't get home from practice till 6pm or later. Football games don't get over till 9pm or later. When will they do their homework? or What about an afterschool job?

User - posted on 04/12/2012

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worry them a little tell them thier skin will get wrecked and they will get black spots under thier eyes, dont say 'will that be cool' after u say that cuz it might tic them off then the i dont care. but if they are doing fine there is no need to worry or you might set them off to rebel more if you push them to be perfect cuz at that age they dont want to be.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 04/04/2012

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when my kids were young, elementary age, bedtime was between 7:30 and 8. from about 5th grade on (10 years old or so), 8:30 was the target. At the age of 12. 9 pm. Now, at 14 and 17, 9:30 and whenever he feels like it (which is usually between 9 and 10 for the 17 YO). This was for school.



Summer is different! We tried to get them down by 8 pm most of the time when they were little. But, from about 8 yrs old, on, we set the latest time as 9 pm. When they turned 12, the latest allowable was 9:30, and now that they're both over 14, I do ask that my 14 YO be in by 10.



I see no reason what so ever to shorten a beautiful day just to put the kids to bed in the summer, and they weren't ready to go anyway.



I have found that my 17 YO will put himself to bed when he's ready. Whether that's 8:30 or midnight, he functions fine the next day. My 14 YO will push the limit on school nights...but every kid is different.



In my most humble opinion, 7 pm bedtime for a12 and 14 yo (UNLESS you're getting up at 3:00 am) is a little early.

Sherri - posted on 04/03/2012

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Wow okay then, I have no idea how you do it. I could never do it and make it work. Heck all of us are outside until 9pm during the summer. I love to go to get togethers with family friends and we usually don't get together till 6-7pm. However, I am also a person that doesn't go to bed till 1-2am every single night too so that may be why I have such a hard time understanding. Also my family is a bunch of night owls too, especially in the summer and weekends.



What would you do if they were invited out with another family during the summer but wouldn't be back till late, would you allow it? I mean it happens quite often especially once they hit high school. School dances are usually at least till 9pm.

Caitlyn - posted on 04/03/2012

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Yes that's how it works at our house. they get plenty of time with friends on weekends and during the summer - we go out as a family during the day. My husband and I go to sleep around 9 so all of us need downtime.

Sherri - posted on 03/26/2012

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@Caitlyn so are they not allowed to go out with friends, amusement park or do anything fun such as go to the movies or mall unless it is during daylight hours etc. during the weekends and summer?? Do you guys never even as a family go out unless it is during daylight hours??

Hetty - posted on 03/25/2012

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My 14 year old starts getting ready for bed at 9pm. Must be in bed to sleep by 9.30pm. We wake at 7am, so he still gets 9 hours sleep. During school terms he sticks to this bedtime, has no sleepovers etc.

In school holidays though, he can stay up to more or less whenever, depending on what is going on the next day. He can have sleepovers... . 1 week before school starts, it is back to routine bedtimes though.

My 18 year old daughter, sorts out her own bedtimes. At 17 she was allowed bedtime to be 10-10.30 depending on what homework she had, but by then they can start taking responsility on their own bedtimes with my overseeing.

With the littlies and being daylight longer, it is just a matter of what they get used to. Try to make the room darker if you can. Reading is good for slowing them down.

Sherri - posted on 03/25/2012

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Sorry but that to me seems insanely early to me. I have a 15 & 13yr old bedtime is 9:30pm. They don't even get home till 4pm. They have to be up at 6am for school. However, after school activities such as basketball and skiing are until 8:30-9pm. It wouldn't even be feasible to have such an early bedtime.

Ramona - posted on 03/24/2012

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Time management is a life skill like laundry, cooking and self hygine. At first you are there determining when and where. But, to make a good self reliant college student and adult, you really have to start letting them choose what works for them. Ds, my youngest, is 14 and he has to be ready for bed (teeth brushed, in his sleeping t shirt and shorts, homework done) by 10 pm, but if he wants to stay up later, he will have to pay the piper in the morning, not me! To be honest, my kids don't come back from activities until 8:30-9 pm. I can't imagine such an early bed time for teens at any time of the year. Aren't your kids in any activities? Are they always home that early? My kids are in art, music, sports, clubs and scouts, between that and school, they are lucky to be home at 9 and starting their homework, practice music, or just chill for a bit.

Leslie - posted on 03/24/2012

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We extend to inside at 9pm during the summer and quiet immediately. As long as they are quiet they are allowed to watch tv, the computer time doesn't change. I also work from home so they aren't required to be up at the same time as school days. About 10 days before school starts we go back to the school schedule.

Dawn - posted on 03/24/2012

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High school after school activities often extend beyond 8 PM which would make it difficult for a high school student to be active in school related events. My 10th grade child had a band performance this week that did not end until 9:40

Caitlyn - posted on 03/24/2012

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We live a ways from school (we are in the country) so they need to be up at about 5:30.

Richelle - posted on 03/24/2012

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When your daughter starts high school 8:00 probably won't allow her any personal time for anything since she will probably have lots of homework. I think 8:00 is too early but I agree with the other posts - if you have 'quiet time' for reading and listening to music in their room at about 8:30 - 9:00 and then lights out for 9:30 or 10 I think that is a little more realistic for a child her age. Now if they are having to get up at 5:00 or 6:00am each morning then that would change everything.

Caitlyn - posted on 03/24/2012

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These are all good ideas :) But how do they work best for you in the summer when it's still light out?

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