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Kids staying up late during the summer - Page 2

post #21 of 47

I keep trying to let them have more freedom about bedtimes, but sometimes it "works", most of the time it's better to get them in bed.  


     On gorgeous summer evenings, the rule is they have to play outside if they want to be up past bedtime.  I tell them if all goes well, I might just "forget" the time.  That works once in a while, not as often as I'd like.  Other times of the year, if they have a great game going indoors, I'll say the same.  

     Solstice times really are hard on sleep.  Summer solstice, it is light from 4am to 10pm where we live.  Winter, it is dark from 4:30pm to 7:30am.  Too much light keeps them awake; the dark is disorienting.  Equinox time they sleep the best.  


     My oldest just negotiated a later bedtime in exchange for some time to "play the toys away".  One day, one day, when I don't have to be ON all the time they are awake I will be more accommodating.

post #22 of 47

Haven't read the whole thread but yes, here summer means that bedtime is more or less out the window.  DS is only three and even at this age the kids are playing outside until it gets dark around 9.  That means by the time he gets in and a snack and settled it is 10 or 1030.  He sleeps in mornings too but only because we put up room darkening curtains OVER room darkening shades.  Its like a bat cave.  There are only so many summers to be a kid so I don't want to be a stickler about bedtime when he's having fun playing with other kids and enjoying the nice weather. 

post #23 of 47

They stay up a bit later (not much -- maybe 8:30 or 9 instead of the usual 8:00), but they play inside, not outside or with friends. After dinner is usually family-only time in our house, so even if someone comes over to play at 7 they get told no. But we're often outside from 3-6 playing with neighbor kids, so I don't feel like anyone is being deprived. When they're older I'm sure there will come a time when they go back out to play after dinner, but for now we're all happy with our routine. 

post #24 of 47

My kids don't stay up that late in the summer, but they are all early birds and will wake up early no matter what time they go to bed.  For them, 8:30 AM is a late morning...usually everyone gets up between 6:30-8:00 or so. Plus, it's dark here by 8:30-8:45 (even at the summer solstice), so it might be different if it was light until 10 PM.  No one is out that late (we also don't have many kids in our neighborhood).   The youngest (who is 3, no naps) goes to sleep around 7:30.  The older 2, go to bed at 9, and are usually asleep by 9:30.

post #25 of 47

My kids were allowed to play outside until sometime between 9-10pm.  Back then, most of the neighbors had kids and no one had a back fence, so the kids were playing in a stretch of about 5 connected yards and were always within shouting distance.  Some of their favorite times were catching lightning bugs and playing hide and seek in the "dark".  Once someone called their kids in, the others went home too.  I was at home all day though, so if the kids were tired they could sleep in.  More often though they would take a nap in the extreme heat of the afternoon.


My mom took much persuading before she relented on her year round bedtime stance.  I hated going to bed when it was still light outside and we could hear our friends playing through the open windows.

post #26 of 47
The only time ds is up until 10 is if were hanging out with our church friends and those nights usually go until 10 or 11 Pm. He's only 2 1/2 but requires less sleep, like 10-11 hours. DD is only 2 months so she's still at that age that we can tote her around with us and she sleeps in the sling. Oh did I mention that ds doesn't nap anymore? But t does get ridiculously hot here during the summer, like 100-108 or so so playtime outside is restricted to before 10am and after 7 unless were at a shady pool!!!
post #27 of 47

When I just go with the flow 4 yr old dd falls into an asleep at 9:15 and up by 8:15 routine.  Not so cool when I'm working or having to wake her up to take her to daycare by 7:45 in the morning though...and really frustrating when I'm trying to get her to bed at night and kids are playing outside below her window.


I think it's totally up to the parents to decide on bedtimes....but the thing I'd like to point out is empathy, consideration and respect for the neighbours, e.g. elderly ones with health problems, people with young children they are trying to get to bed earlier, etc.  Lots of elderly are in bed early because they are awake by 4-5 am and can't get back to sleep after that.  The other night there were kids running and screaming around the neighbourhood until probably 10:30 at night.  It was really disruptive and I felt for the poor souls who were trying to sleep...especially those with little ones who routinely awake at 4:30-5 am.  I think it's easy for people to forget about how noisy they are being - even the most considerate among us forget this sometimes when we see how much fun our children are having.


So all I would say is please be aware of where your kids are, how much noise they are making and try to teach them how to have their fun in the evenings without it disrupting those who need to be asleep (or are trying to get their kids to sleep) while they're playing (especially those like us who can't afford air conditioning and need to have the windows wide open at night).  If they are being loud, please please please bring them inside!!  This can be part of teaching our children respect and empathy for others (which I'm sure you're all doing anyway).  I would encourage checking in with all of your neighbours routinely to ensure they are okay with the noise and what they feel is a reasonable "quiet hour".  Bear in mind that often people (your neighbours) would rather suffer in silence as they don't want to be a party pooper and bring it up themselves....but humans need sleep to remain healthy.

post #28 of 47

I've been wondering this myself. Last night dd, dh and I were at a party with other families and didn't get home until 10:30. The kids were having a great time playing with each other till then. Dd might have been asleep at 11 p.m. Wednesday nights she has soccer right near a park with a sprinkler. I pack a ton of food and we just go to the park and visit with whoever else stays, often until it's getting dark. Why go home? Dd loves this and so do I. She is not in any camps and I work from home. I LOVE this time. She still likes to read when we come home, too, no matter how late it is. It's me who needs sleep, since I start work at 4:30 a.m. But I wouldn't miss these 2 short months for anything. I can't imagine letting her play outside just with other kids past 8 or 9 though, and I would never let her call on a friend that late unless I was absolutely sure (had talked to a parent) that it was okay. But late-night playground visits are magic for dd (keeping safety in mind) and we do a lot of visiting. I just don't see any need to bring her home for "bedtime." She does sleep in the next day, though. If she were crabby, as pp have pointed out, I would have to do things very differently. We live in NS, BTW, so winters are long here, too and spring can be cold and rainy.

post #29 of 47

I'd allow it, but I stay up late myself, and I ran around until after dark with my friends when I was a kid. I just took a nap the next day. (It was always HOT in the afternoons anyway, so why not nap?) Since I've had my own kids, I've gotten on board with enforcing sleep because I realize it's SO important, but I think I could make it work. And I could certainly give my kids the choice: do you want to stay out late and play and take a longer nap tomorrow, or do you want to come in now and skip/shorten the nap? 

post #30 of 47

I haven't read the other replies, but I will say that we do let dd(9) stay up late... but she also sleeps in during the summer.  So, she's often up until midnight, but doesn't get up until 10 or later in the morning.  I'm fine with this, as it is her natural diurnal cycle.  I don't like making her go to bed early and get up early during the school year because it's just not her natural rhythm. but it's a necessary evil.  Also, we happen to be on the most extreme western edge of our time zone, so it is still quite light outside very late.  At 10pm, it's still dusk in late June/early July.  I'd let dd stay out if she 1). didn't get eaten alive by mosquitoes and 2). actually had neighborhood friends (there are no children her age where we live) to play with.  I suppose ultimately it has to do with your child's own rhythms to know what you need to do.  Sleep, after food, is perhaps (IMO) the most important element of healthy growth for children  so do whatever it takes to make sure she is getting enough sleep.


I fondly remember playing outside until the street lights were our only light.  My favorite part was when we finally came in and my mother complained, "You kids smell like FRESH AIR!!!"  (Like that was bad!)  I wish my dd could experience the outside playing I did. We grew up in a small midwestern town in the 60's and 70's.  We're just not in a good place (traffic, no kids, etc.) for it now and truly the vibe of society feels different.

Edited by velochic - 7/19/11 at 12:27pm
post #31 of 47

I don't know about anyone else, but around here, it is just too hot in the summer for the kids to get out and play any earlier than eight or nine.  So, yeah, I don't have a problem with my children staying up late and then sleeping in.  I mean, sitting here, right now, at 12:30 it is still 85 and hot and muggy.  YUCK!  And during "regular" hours, it is just unbearable.  But, we are night owls anyways.

post #32 of 47

It looks like I have one of the non-popular responses, but here you go.  I don't generally let the kids stay up late.  First of all, we homeschool, and I don't do "summer break" per se.  We take week-long breaks throughout the year to break up the year better and to better fit how we want to celebrate holidays and vacations.  That said, during the traditional "summer break" time they do have a total of 4 weeks off.  My kids dd(14), ds(12), and ds(10) (I have a 2yo too, but she doesn't apply to this topic - lol), do sleep in if allowed.  But, if they get into the habit of staying up & getting up late it's super hard for them to get back to regular bedtime and wake up time.  Then I have crabby kids.  Also, if I let them stay up late and just start school late the next day, they get upset b/c then they're not done w/ their school stuff early enough to play all day.  When they were younger and in public school I didn't let them stay up either b/c they'd be crabby the next day.  Those things said, during a few summer weeks my kids also participate in a community theater where practices tend to go to 10/11 o'clock at night!  On those days I let the kids who are not needed at the particular practices stay up until the others get home.  Good luck with your decisions!

post #33 of 47

We have all intentions of keeping up with our normal routine(bath at 7:30, in bed reading by 8) but like everyone else has said, we always just let it go in the summer bc we live in the midwest and so much of our days Nov-April are spent inside.

post #34 of 47
My kids are younger, but I try to relax bedtime in the summer unless we have something. However, I will enforce a "rest in" the next morning, usually 8. They are never up past 930, they would be wrecked! Also on weekends, we have quiet time in their rooms from 1 to 330, and often during the week as well. I will usually have my 7 yr old read a chapter, do a few workbook pages, and then the rest of the time is his. They love having time apart to do with what they like (no tv or video games). If they seem tired, we'll have a nap during that time, especially on Sundays.

I remember playing outside in the late summer sun as a kid, and having to go to bed at 730 and seeing my friends on their bikes when I was about 8. It royally sucked!
post #35 of 47

sadly we don't live in a cool neighborhood with lots of kids who actually go outside. my kids are the only ones who play outside. we keep their bedtime the same year round. 9:30 (or at least aim for that). if we lived in a lively neighborhood, i don't know. i might be tempted to let them play outside later, but i don't know. i mean they get up at the same time everyday whether they got to bed at 9:30 or not. so maybe once in a while i would, but everyday? probably not because they would end up being cranky.



post #36 of 47
I have my daughter (9) and my son (6) for 3 weeks each summer, as they attend boarding school and the 900 mi distance plus my work schedule not allow them to come for any other breaks.

I live in a place where it's warm mar-oct and they definitely don't. On their breaks up there they are inside as unfortunately most of their fathers family is obese.

There are not kids in my neighborhood that come acallin but you bet when it cools off we are outside. I don't live in the most walking friendly area but you bet we walk any and everywhere we can. And yep, they end up staying up until 10 or 11. Sometimes they sleep in, sometimes they don't. Sometimes we will all have a siesta when the heat index is 105 and the air qualify is so bad we can't even get the mail.

And to me, that's the fun of summer. And they have rules regulations camp scouts and bedtime the set of the year.

That being said they both see me as strict because we eat healthy, have chores, and there are rules. Theres stucture and routine, it's just more relaxed then school and more rigid than their fathers family.
post #37 of 47

If you can always have a handle on where kids are, I would let them play outside later during the summer....absolutely.  I say this for two basic reasons.  When I was that age, all the neighborhood kids (including myself) were outside from sunup to sundown.  My parents never let me stay out as late the others, so I was automatically labeled "different."  Obviously, this has to be within reason...what is age appropriate and time-of-history (2011 as opposed the the 1960s).  But I was brought up by extremely overprotective parents, and it did have negative social consequences all the way through elementary school and beyond.  Let them get tired...it's summer after all. 


The other reason I feel it's important is because so few kids even want to play outside these days.  They'd rather be on their computers, iPhones or videogames.  They miss out on those 12-hour play marathons, fresh air and exercise.  Childhood obesity is such a crucial issue...again....let them play.  From my own experience, I truly think whereabouts- monitored later summer play times are important for health and for fitting in with peers.  My own kids are 21 and 25, and they played basketball when they were younger until it got dark!  



post #38 of 47

I do let them stay up a bit later.    But not too late....more so the girls b/c they need more sleep than 7 yo DS.   

We were on vaca last week in FL and there were many late nights, and early mornings b/c they were out of their elements.....   So I had some crabby kiddos.  

DS is currently in summer school, so I am more strict w/bed times right now.   Previously I'd let him stay up and watch a show on Animal Planet or hang out with Dad or play a game with him after the girls went to sleep.  It's summer....it's dark later and it's summer vaca so IMO moderation is key so it all depends on what is going on that day/night.   But I never let him stay up later than 10. 

post #39 of 47

I think you should follow your gut about getting enough sleep.  We too have the kids out late in the cul-de-sac at night.  DD2's (1.5 yo) bedroom window faces the cul-de-sac and her and DD1 (4 yo) both love to look out the window while they're going through bedtime routine.  It's hard when you see other kids out playing, but I feel my responsibility to my children is more important so I am more concerned with keeping their routine fairly stable.  DDs are happier when their schedule isn't yanked around too much.  I probably wouldn't have a problem with one night a week as long as it wasn't a hectic day the next day.  When school starts back up it will be very important that they're getting to bed on time so they wake rested in the morning, else mornings fall apart trying to get everything done and kids out the door.

post #40 of 47
Thread Starter 
We have loosened up a bit, as in letting her stay out late a bit more often, but we decided not to let her stay out late all the time or even very frequently. She plays outside almost all day every day, even when it's really hot outside, from morning to night with breaks for meals, and sometimes the kids all get their lunches "to go" and eat together even. So it isn't an issue of her not getting enough outside play. And she does not adjust her waking time when she's up late. She still wakes up early. She's just an early bird. And she won't nap, so she is cranky the next day.
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