I'm not sure if this should go in nighttime parenting or here, but honestly nighttime parenting looks like a lot of under-3 year old questions, and I'm really wondering more about older kids--mine are 8 and nearly 5.
During the summer, we've been doing 8:30 or 9 for bedtime and asleep by 9 or 9:30. But I've inadvertently tested out a super early bedtime followed by a super late one, and found that they're really well behaved and chipper with an early one. They don't sleep in unless they're sick, so they always get up at 7am regardless.
After the early bedtime... they were fantastic. Even in a crazy environment, they were cooperative and polite, moreso than usual, and they are usually good kids. But with a late bedtime, they were crazy squabbling meltdowns. They're in bed now, and were fine with this, both saying they're tired, and that they like to look at books, but I don't think they'll fall asleep for a while.
So now I'm wondering about the fall. We don't get home from 2 activities until 7pm, although I could feed them dinner at 5 before the activities and then a bedtime snack at 7pm. I wonder if a 7:30 bedtime would be a good idea. It means we won't have family dinner often, since DH often doesn't get home until 7. But we usually have family breakfast together anyway.
Do you think 7:30 might be possible or is it just too early for school-age kids' bedtimes?