Bedtime has always been very important to me. I tried so hard to get my children in bed at a good time from the time they were very young. Baby Barrett spent hours, I’m sure, crying in bed because it was bedtime…he hated bedtime and still does. I read a book by a sleep expert when Barrett was a baby and tried to follow it – to the letter! He would cry and cry…and I would pace around the room, do the dishes, talk on the phone, anything, to keep from picking him up. I don’t know if it was a good thing or not. I’m still vexed about bedtime. In my mind, every child should go peacefully to bed when darkness falls or before! Ha! It doesn’t happen at my house. At my house, I go peacefully to bed before most of the others. It’s the only way for me to get enough sleep. I live in a house full of night owls!
There have been a few times when I have encouraged my children to stay up past their bedtime. These were important times.
- a meteor shower
- finishing a great book
- playing chess with Dad after losing game 1
- watching a sibling complete one more step of a favorite hobby (Barrett is into tanning hides and Meredith is fascinated)
- when dear friends are at our house lingering over a late supper
- the birth of our first colt on the farm
- the presidential election returns
I remember as a child being allowed to infringe upon my bedtime when we found the perfect cocker spaniel in the classifieds. My dad and I went to go and pick her up really late one night. That night was magic!
What has been important enough in your life or the lives of your children to allow them to miss some sleep? As a child, do you remember being allowed to stay up late for something special?
Well, I can’t think of a special “event” so far in my kids’ lives that I’ve let them stay up late for but we’ve started the “tradition” I suppose that they can stay up as late as they want (or midnight) on Friday nights. (I had to set the limit at midnight after finding Kiley still wide awake playing after 1:00 a.m. one time!) It’s been funny to see how much this has been ingrained. For example, when my dad was in town for a few weeks in December, he took Jared with him for a couple nights. One of the evenings, at 9:00, Jared told my dad that he had to go to bed at 9:00 except on Friday nights and proceeded to put himself to bed. My dad came in the room a little bit later and asked Jared if he knew what day it was. It happened to be a Friday. So with excitement, Jared got back up. It made me laugh (and I must admit a little bit proud) that he went to bed on his own when he thought he was supposed to even when he wasn’t at home. Now if I can just teach him to know what day it is… or maybe I shouldn’t. 🙂
What a sweet little boy! He has a heart that wants to obey. I love that he was all ready for bed and then popped back up, excited about a few more hours.
After I got to a certain age, my mom would let me read in bed as late as I wanted as long as I got up without protest the next morning. Sometimes I read way too late, but I always got up because I didn’t want to lose the privilege.
I think Amy’s ideas are similar to mine. We showed the kids the eclipse, meteor showers, jupiter and venus were close and could be seen without a telescope. I started letting them stay up late during the summer and then I also did the Friday night rule too. Rhett was the one to put himself to bed! (He is 9 now) But he would remember he could stay up later on the weekend. Makenna (2) is my night owl. She was the only one to stay up with me for New Years. I told her she had to give me my kiss!
Staying up late on Saturday nights, which were family movie nights. We would make pallets out of sleeping bags and pillows and watch Anne of Green Gables (my dad’s favorite:), Alfred Hitchcock, John Wayne, Indiana Jones, and other movies…I typically fell asleep. We were still doing this when I was 17! I miss those nights:( As for staying up late now, I relish the nights when I get in bed early!
I MISS YOU, friend!
I miss you, too! I pray you are doing well I love family movie night. My family would love for us to go that. Thanks for the idea. Have a great day!
I’ve always been one to ask, “Why?” It’s hard for me to accept something without a good reason behind it. That is the question I would always ask my mom and dad when they said I couldn’t stay up late. I really can’t remember them letting me stay up late until I was in college b/c they always said they felt better when I was in bed before they were, and they never stayed up late. New Years was the exception, I suppose, but most of the time I was so conditioned to getting to bed early that I couldn’t make it ’til midnight anyway. The same is true now. Rod and I got old way before our time. We are in bed by 9pm most nights, and asleep soon thereafter (unless there is a good show on TV). Anna (my 3yr old) is usually begging to go to bed by 7:30 and will sleep 12 hours most of the time. She’s always been our little blessing in that area. Rachel (my 7yr old), however, likes to stay up late and always has (especially when she was a baby). I’ve just started letting her stay up later than us sometimes and put herself to bed. Most of the time, though, she will stay up late by reading in bed and writing in her journal.
So, back to my original sentence…I’m not that strict on bedtimes because when asked “Why?”, I really don’t have a good reason. I don’t work outside the home. We homeschool. There’s not a set time I make her start school. I let her wake up on her own, she does a few chores, eats breakfast, and then we get started. I like it this way because it gives me uninterrupted time with the Lord to have her sleep later than me, plus I’m able to get a head start on my day (exercise, clean, prepare for school). Of course, on days we have lots of activities to go to, she will be in bed at a decent time, and up at a decent time. If our lives happen to change in the future, I’m sure our bedtimes policy will change with it.
Thanks for your comments. I think you have a much better philosophy than I did. I was a mess! I love the freedom that comes with being able to go to bed when I need to and not after everyone is in bed. I , also, like to get up before everyone else to enjoy some quiet, get-myself-together time!
My parents changed our bedtimes as we aged. Not sure when we went to bed as young children, but I can imagine it was ‘with the chickens’. As young teens, we went to bed as soon as Gunsmoke or Carol Burnett went off. But we could read as late as we wanted as long as we got up without a fuss. The times we stayed up late would be for special company, meteor showers and eclipses.