That dreaded moment kids abhor (and parents love)… bedtime! Do your kids have a set bedtime? If so, what time?
Do Your Kids Have a Set Bed Time?
The waning moments of freedom before bedtime have sharpened my daughter’s negotiating skills over the years. As a toddler, right before bed, she needed a drink, would ask for a snack, and like, 6 stories (I usually gave in and read a few!). Then, she would wrap it up with the heart melting, “but mama, I just need one little hug.” SIGH. She suckered me with that one a few times–until I just got to the point where it became easier and easier to say no, haha!
In our house, bedtime is something that changes not just year-to-year, in tandem with her age, but throughout different seasons of the year. My daughter will be 12 in a couple months, and her bedtime during the school year is 9-9:30PM. Occasionally, I will let her stay up a bit later if there is a special circumstance or event, but for the most part I stay strict on bedtime.
Why Is a Set Bedtime Important for Kids?
Along with healthy food and exercise, growing kids need sleep. Every kid is different as far as what they need, but I find my daughter does her best when she gets between 8-10 hours. Her moods are more level, she focuses better, and she is well-rested.
As a toddler, it’s obvious when a kid is tired. As my daughter has gotten older, the signs of sleep deprivation are more subtle, but they are still there. Just as I am when I am not sleeping well, my daughter becomes snippy, whiny, and won’t pay attention. All of these things work against her when it comes to school, extracurriculars, and time well-spent with friends and family.
Sleep affects health and immune function, as well as anxiety and depression (which is a cruel cycle if you have anxiety or depression, because both of those conditions can affect sleep, themselves).
What Time Does Your Kid Go to Bed During Summer Break?
I’m not saying my daughter is in bed right at 9PM on the dot every night. I tend to be more lax with her during summer vacation and breaks from school. Since I work from home, we are blessed with flexibility in our schedules. I tend to work later into the night, and she moves onto my schedule when she’s home, and then she sleeps in.
Even in the summer, if she is sick, or displaying any signs of needing more sleep, I move her back to an earlier bed time, right away. I also try to space out sleepovers with friends a bit, because if it runs into more than a day or two at a time, she loses too much sleep and it affects her (and everyone around her, ha!).
Playing Motherhood Free Online Summit for Moms: Speaker Jill Riley
Are you looking for some new bedtime negotiation tactics to try out on your little ones? Register today for the free Playing Motherhood Online Summit for Moms and be sure to catch Jill’s segment on making bedtime a more positive experience for the entire family!
Parenting Advice and Ideas
- Staycation Ideas for Families
- What Is the One Thing You Do for You?
- Should We Let Our Kids Use Electronics At a Restaurant?
- Experts Say, Kids Should Nap Mid-Day, Even in School
Is there a set bedtime in your house? If so, comment below with the time!