Carina has been typing on the internets before there was a www in front of everything. This is why she’s cranky and wants to know when you’ll get off her lawn. She resides in a hopelessly outdated home in the Mountain West with a mathematician and three children hell-bent on destruction. Her laundry is not done, but her Twitter is totally up to date. Carina does not have a Tumblr, because get serious.

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Summer Time and Bedtime

Oh, Bedtime Hours!

I admit that I’m a hard line bed timer. I was raised by hard line bed timers and I am doing the same thing with my kids. They’re in bed by 8pm on school nights, if not earlier. In that awkward stage between giving up the nap and ability to act like a human until 8pm, I’ve been known to put them down for the night at 6pm.

I remember having to go to bed while it was still light, hearing other neighbor kids playing, and sneaking books into bed to read.

But now I’m the mom. Things feel like they should be a little faster and looser with bedtime during the summer. In our neighborhood the kids are out running late, often past dark. I haven’t let my older kid out yet because I don’t think he can handle it–he’s an early riser, often up before 7am, no matter what time he goes to bed. If he doesn’t get his sleep, he’s a grumpy wreck.

I don’t let my younger kid out, because although he could hang with staying up late and sleeping in, he’s 4, and I’m not completely irresponsible. When I try to test the boundaries and let them both stay up late, they’re horrid the next day–and back to 8pm bedtime we go.

Do your bedtime hours and rules change during the summer? Can your kids roll with more flexibility?

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Comments (7)

  1. Bluedaisy 06/13/2011 at 1:23 pm

    When my kids were little we were pretty much hard and fast at bedtime, unless we had company. It’s super hard to put kids to bed if you have friends kids playing.

    Now my kids are all in school. I wouldn’t mind being a little more lenient now that they’re older and I am in fact a lot more lenient with my teenagers. There’s just one problem. Our elementary school is on year round schedule. This means they’re for nine weeks, off for three weeks all year long. Our “summer” is only three weeks in July. It is difficult having my teenagers in traditional and my younger boys in year round school, but we do what we have to do. There’s no way I’m going to let my little ones stay up late during that three weeks of summer and then try to get them back on a good sleep schedule. What a pain! So bedtime will be the same once they’re out of school next month. I will let them read a little longer since they will sleep in but staying up late to play and then struggle with unwinding, not an option!

  2. Brinestone 06/10/2011 at 8:18 am

    Nope. I’m a hardliner too, for the reasons you listed. If my kids don’t go to bed on time, they are horrible. Maybe not the very next day, but it will hit like a time bomb eventually. Also, if you NEVER let them stay up late, it doesn’t even occur to them to ask you if they can. One battle won before it’s even begun!

  3. Kasey 06/08/2011 at 11:37 pm

    My kids are typically in bed by 8pm. I have 2 3 1/2 year olds, 2 2 1/2 year olds (and a 1 year old that wants bed at 7:30pm no matter what!) But the older (very slangly used) 4 typically have the same bed time all year. However, if they are playing together well, listening, doing “good” things and ask to go out and enjoy the sunshine even though it’s 8pm they are allowed to. Not every night, but I think it’s needed on some nights..for them..and for my husband and I to get to enjoy some fun time with them before the bedtime routine rolls in!

  4. Erin Oltmanns 06/07/2011 at 9:57 pm

    My 3-year-old has some sort of apparent direct connection to the sun. She’s been popping up next to my bed at 5:45 A.M. It doesn’t matter what I do, she’s up with the sun. (Her windows are even covered with black-out shades.) So, she’s in bed at 6p, sound asleep by 6:15p and happy as a clam at 5:45a.

    At least we can shift a bit later in the winter. We’ll see how this pans out as she gets older and realizes that the whole neighborhood is outside without her.

  5. Jenny 06/07/2011 at 7:28 pm

    Maybe on the 4th of July they can stay up late. Or if a babysitter is watching them and they break my rules. But if I have to get up with their sad sack selves in the morning at 7am, they are GOING TO BED ON TIME DANGIT! I don’t care what other children are outside. We should be neighbors.

  6. Ronnie Crowley 06/07/2011 at 1:54 pm

    Me I’m big time hard liner. My 14 and 12 year old are in bed by 9 school nights. 10pm weekends and vacation.

  7. Zina 06/07/2011 at 8:25 am

    Theoretically I love the idea of letting my kids stay up late in the summer, but when it gets to be evening my husband and I can’t wait to have them dispatched to bed. And my 7-year-old gets night terrors if her sleep routine is disturbed, so that’s a reason to stick with an early bedtime. But I’m sure we’ll do late nights for fireworks and parties and so forth, especially for the big kids.