If your kids 15 & 8 years old give you no problem getting up in the morning or with there grades....should they have a bedtime?

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Jodi - posted on 08/24/2011

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Yes, they should still have limits, as it will affect their school work and their general alertness. Teenagers are still growing, and they still need sleep. My 14 year old's school night bedtime is still 9:30pm because yes, he actually still needs that much sleep. I am flexible about it on weekends.

At 8 years old, they definitely need a set bedtime, or their grades won't be any good for very long. My boys had 8pm bedtimes at that age, and it seemed to be about right. My 6 1/2 year old daughter's bedtime is about 8pm too.

Of course, bedtimes will depend on what time they need to get up to go to school, and keep in mind every child is different in their sleep needs. Some kids need a lot more sleep than others.

As a guide, experts say that a 7-12 year old needs about 10-11 hours sleep a day and a 12-18 year old will need about 8-9 hours a day.

So for instance, my 14 year old has to be up at 6:30am to get himself ready for school, so a 9:30pm bedtime is within the recommendations and also seems to work for him and the family. If I were to go with the 8 hours, he'd really struggle to get himself up. I know because I've seen it when he's had assignments due and had to do a late night.

It is really about looking at those guidelines, assessing your own child's needs, and finding something that still works. If you ARE looking at adjusting their bedtimes, I would suggest doing it 1/2 hour at a time. Just move it up 1/2 hour for a couple of weeks and see how it goes, and so on.

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The 15 year old...maybe set some kind of restrictions. I teach high school and I can't tell you how many zombies I teach 1st period. They try to pull all-nighters. The 8 year old? An 8 year old NEEDS to refresh and replenish after a long day. I would absolutely positively set a bedtime, 9:30 pm the absolute latest! The way you word your post makes it seem like you don;t set any boudnaries for youe children. I sure hope you do, and that bedtime is one of those boundaries.

Denikka - posted on 08/22/2011

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I think that yes, they should still have a bedtime. Even the best behaved of children need structure.
If the kids are good at taking care of themselves and making sure they get enough sleep etc, then instead of a *you have to be asleep by this time* type of bedtime, maybe push more towards a *in your room at this time and then read etc*
Obviously there still needs to be some basis for a *lights out and asleep* time. But perhaps you could be a little more lax on that aspect.

Just because a kid appears to have no problems getting up in the morning doesn't mean they are well rested or getting enough sleep though. I never had a problem getting up during school and my grades never suffered. But I was also an insomniac and rarely got more than 6 hours of sleep a night. Frequently it was closer to 3 or 4.

I would say that as long as they're asleep when the parents go to bed, you should be fine :)

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