When my kids were younger, bedtime was one of my favorite parts of the evening. Once they were in bed at 7:30 or 8 PM, I’d have a couple of hours to clean up, prep for the next day, blog and even get to watch an episode or two of a television show. Fast forward to today, where my now thirteen year-old, on some occasions, is going to bed at the same time as me!
My 10 year-old is supposed to be in bed at 8:30 PM and my thirteen year-old is supposed to be in bed at 9 PM. I am very aware of the research that recommends teens get 8 to 10 hours of sleep a night. If my daughter got to bed on time she’d be getting a good 9 hours of sleep, since she is woken up at 6 AM on school days.
However, between needing help on last minute homework or just being plain SLOW about getting ready, she is rarely in bed on time. If this was a one time thing it wouldn’t be a big deal. But this is an ongoing issue. We have her start the getting ready process at 8:30. Does she really need 30 minutes to get ready for bed?!
I know that the 8-10 hours is a recommendation. Some kids can deal with less sleep. My kids, however, take after me and NEED a lot of sleep. Otherwise, they get extra irritable and aren’t pleasant to be around. Plus, if she was getting enough sleep, I would think it would be easier for her to get up in the morning. I wake her at 6 AM before I go into the shower. Then my husband checks on her ten minutes later to make sure she is up and moving.
So what are we doing to try to get her to bed on time? I realize one of my mistakes was not taking her iPod away a certain hour before bedtime. I know this plays a huge role in her being distracted and slow. As we now are getting into phone discussions (post coming soon!) this is one of our non-negotiables. It is much more difficult to take something away once you’ve already allowed it for so long. Since she has no concept of how long things take her to get done, we are also thinking of resorting back to a timer and giving her limits on how long she can take to do something.
As infants and toddlers, and even in elementary school, both of my kids have been good sleepers. Now the problem is currently getting one of them into bed on time! I’m trying to instill healthy sleep habits now for the kids. I know as they get older, they’ll get more homework, be involved in sports and extracurricular activities and possibly even have jobs. I think a regular sleep schedule will help them perform at their best.
But seriously, girl, it’s time to go to bed already! How do you get your teens to bed at a decent hour?