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Letting kids decide when to go to sleep?

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Letting kids decide when to go to sleep?

Postby OnceHarmony on Sat May 25, 2013 6:41 pm

So I came across this about a mom who lets her kids decide when it is time to go to sleep and it, hmmmm, sounds intriguing.

http://amomwithalessonplan.com/mommy-fu ... r-bedtime/

I fear my DD would be up all night if I did this. I'm sure she wouldn't be as her body would eventually crash and then I wonder how she would feel/be the next day.
It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future ― Yogi Berra
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Re: Letting kids decide when to go to sleep?

Postby midnightly on Sat May 25, 2013 7:07 pm

i couldn't do that.. we don't have alot of structure in this house but bedtime is important.. (it can range between 8-8:30pm) there is a routine we do for winding down, brushing teeth, cuddle and talk with daddy, then into bed she goes.. if she's awake in bed i don't care as long as she is IN her bed :lol: (she goes to bed with her flashlight and a book and usually is asleep about a half hour or so later )
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Re: Letting kids decide when to go to sleep?

Postby Blacken on Sat May 25, 2013 8:04 pm

Hmmm...interesting. For me, it's very easy to keep myself up too late, so I would be hesitant to trust that my child can put themself to bed at a reasonable hour. I would be concerned that it would become habitual for them to stay up too late and possibly give them adult sleep issues.
However, to each their own :)
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Re: Letting kids decide when to go to sleep?

Postby Sunnygirl on Sat May 25, 2013 8:08 pm

I recall babysitting for a neighbour when I was a teen and thinking I was letting their kid stay up late when I put them to bed at 9 as we'd been having fun (he was 5) and I hadn't asked what time his bedtime was. They seemed really annoyed when they came home after 10 pm and he was already asleep. Were they liking him up late so they could sleep in or...??? I thought it was weird even as a teen lol
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Re: Letting kids decide when to go to sleep?

Postby Benjorsam on Sun May 26, 2013 12:06 am

I think its a bad habit to get into as they will have to learn to get up early when they get a job, assuming they have a regular daytime one. I also value my adult time once the kids go to bed and I'm able to just sit and relax and watch grown up tv. I never really had a bed time when I was a kid and remember staying up to watch Saturday Night Live when I was 8, 9, 10 years old. And I have a really hard time getting up early now. I do it because I have to get the kids to school but if I had a choice I would totally sleep in until 10 or 11. And I cannot go to bed before midnight or 1 am and weekends I'm up until past 2 am. If I try to go to bed earlier, I just toss and turn all night. I think kids need to learn proper sleep habits when they are young, which will be adjusted as they get older to reflect their lifestyle and scedules.




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Re: Letting kids decide when to go to sleep?

Postby Answers on Sun May 26, 2013 8:18 am

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Re: Letting kids decide when to go to sleep?

Postby midnightly on Sun May 26, 2013 3:54 pm

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Re: Letting kids decide when to go to sleep?

Postby Estelle on Thu May 30, 2013 1:34 pm

My kids are 9 and 12 and we've been doing something like this for years. I gave up the bedtime battles when they were really young because I just don't have the patience for it. Now I have to get up at 430am so I like to be in bed around 830pm. At 8 we all go upstairs and get ready then I kiss them goodnight and go to bed. They amuse themselves quietly, usually reading, until they are ready to sleep. Some nights I've gotten up to get something at 9 and it's already lights out, other nights I'll get up to use the washroom after 10 and they're still up. If its after 930 I tell them to go to sleep and they do, but they are usually asleep by then on their own. We used to start getting ready at 830-9ish when I started work later.

My oldest has her alarm set for 530 and spends about 10-15 minutes waking up before getting out of bed. She takes a long time to get herself ready in the mornings, mostly fiddling with her hair :D My youngest sleeps until 7. If they are tired they know it and choose to go to sleep at 830 when I do.

On Fridays we stay up as late as we want, often till midnight, then Saturdays it's 10 and back to routine time on Sundays. This has worked well for us for a long time and they're really good about taking care of themselves and making sure they get enough sleep. They know they're driving me bonkers if I send them to bed 'early' on a weekend night. ;)
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Re: Letting kids decide when to go to sleep?

Postby jack's mum on Tue Jun 04, 2013 11:44 pm

While DS has a set time that he's supposed to be in in bed we don't turn out the lights at bedtime and insist he go right to sleep. He's never been a big sleeper--I think he gave up naps altogether around 18 months--and has always been a night owl (as are DH and myself) so 10 hours a night seems to be the max for DS and always has been.

Bedtime is 9pm (was 8:30 until tonight, but DS has been campaigning for an extra half hour ever since he turned 9 last week :D ). DS then reads until he's tired. About 95% of the time he turns out his light around 10 or 10:30 and the other 5% he either falls asleep reading or has to be told to turn his light off if we think it's getting unreasonably late.

He doesn't exactly bounce out of bed in the morning (but. then again, neither do DH and I), however he's fine once he's up.

As long as he's in bed, reading quietly, I don't mind that he's still awake. He rarely comes downstairs to bug us so we still get our "quiet time" and we've eliminated the bedtime battles that used to plague us when DS was younger. I can't remember exactly how long we've been doing things this way, but I'd say at least 3+ years at this point. Works for us. :)


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Re: Letting kids decide when to go to sleep?

Postby TazDevil on Wed Jun 12, 2013 7:43 pm

All kids decide when to go to sleep. They may not decide when to go to bed. That needs to be the parental structure IMO.

Both my kids are happy with bed time. In fact we are trying to train DD to stay up later than 8pm for camps and parties. It comes from enforcing an in-bed rule from birth. They have never known any different because there was never any deviation from the time.

Melatonin has helped them actually fall asleep faster. Before that there was a lot of stress with DD about not being able to sleep.

My kids need to get up early as we work and leave the house at 7:15am. I do believe that sleep is the main ingredient in maintaining a healthy body and I have seen my kids be so much happier and out of bed with a smile after they were able to fall asleep earlier.
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Re: Letting kids decide when to go to sleep?

Postby JaynaF on Mon Jun 17, 2013 7:09 pm

my kids are 8 and 10, and we've had the same routine for the past 10 years. they are used to going to bed at 7 or 730 (but often fall asleep much later). I like our structure and routine, as it makes it so much easier, and less hassle, for us. especially now since we've moved and are commuting, they are having to get up much earlier. if they chose when to fall asleep, our mornings would be a complete disaster trying to drag them out of bed to get into town on time. LOL
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Re: Letting kids decide when to go to sleep?

Postby Sunnygirl on Tue Jun 18, 2013 12:32 pm

I'm with Jayna on this one. My kids have to get up by a certain time, so they have to go to sleep by a certain time... not just to bed. On nights there is evidence dd has played after bedtime she is an absolute grump the next day. Ds would read all night if I let him. I can't get myself motivated to put a book down early enough to not be grumpy the next day so how could I expect my kids to be able to do so
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