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#1 of 47 Old 07-14-2011, 05:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I love our neighborhood and how the kids all run around and play together all day. But I do have one issue. During the summer, kids come by wanting to start playing at night, even as late as 8:30 they come by asking if dd (9) can play, and we have let her a few times but the kids run around until after 10 pm and that feels too late to me. I like to have her in bed by 8:30 in the summer, because she doesn't sleep in and I just feel like young bodies need more sleep than they often get. My daughter wants to stay up as late as the other neighbor kids, and I'm looking for perspective from other parents. We do let her stay out maybe once a week to once every other week, but on a general basis I'm not comfortable with it. Do you let your kids stay up really late during the summer, and if so do your kids sleep in when they stay up late, and then give me some reasons why it isn't a big deal and I'm overstating the importance of kids getting a lot of sleep or something and let me know if I'm off in my thinking. If you agree with me, let me know that too. I'm looking for an overview of how a variety of parents feel to help me widen my perspective, so all answers are useful.
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#2 of 47 Old 07-14-2011, 06:29 PM
 
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well, we aren't even close to dealing with this yet, but, where i live now, summer is really really short. we get maybe 3 months of nice warm weather, and then the other 9 months are cold, dark and gray! i see you live in illinois, so you know what i mean.

 

anyway, where i grew up, it was warm all year round... playing outside all day was always an option, and i feel bad that kids in northern climates are really only able to spend a few short weeks like i spent my whole childhood! i think when i have an older child, i'd be inclined to let her take full advantage of long warm summer evenings if we are lucky enough to live somewhere where the neighbourhood kids do that. it's only a little while, and then it will start getting dark by 5pm and she'll be trapped indoors. 

 

so yes, when she has no early morning obligations (like school, camp, classes or whatever) i would definitely say yes. maybe you can kind of bargain with her... if she stays out late, she has to stay in bed until whatever hour in the morning, or if it's making her cranky, she has to come in earlier or have a rest during the day. i absolutely think it's a rule worth rethinking! 

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#3 of 47 Old 07-14-2011, 06:38 PM
 
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We let DD (age 8) stay up late, but I would not allow her to be outside late. No way. She stays up inside the house doing crafts or watching movies, etc. until 11:00 pm or even midnight. Then she sleeps in til 10:00 am or so. If she didn't sleep in, I'd make her go to bed earlier to get enough rest.

A few nights a week I take her "night swimming" and we swim until 10:00 pm or so. That's really very cool.

If she has camp or an early morning obligation, she goes to bed early. During the school year she'll return to her 8:30 or 9:00 pm bedtime for sure.

If you're not comfortable with it, I'd go with your gut.

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#4 of 47 Old 07-14-2011, 06:39 PM
 
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My dd is 9 and my ds is 7. We allow them to play in our yard or the neighbor's yard as late as they want. I don't think it's ever gone later than 10. Recently, though, ds wanted to call a friend to come and play at 8:30 p.m. We decided that it was way too late to call a non-neighborhood friend, but he could go see if our next-door neighbor wanted to play. When I was a child, we'd play outside as late as possible and I have some really great memories of it.

 

That said, my kids sleep in. They will often stay awake in their rooms reading, playing or watching TV until midnight in the summer. They sleep until 10 or 11. We don't have any obligations in the summer so it works for us. If it seemed they weren't getting enough sleep, I would definitely set some stricter limits.

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#5 of 47 Old 07-14-2011, 07:13 PM
 
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We let our children (11, 9 and 7) out to enjoy the summer until around 9pm if there isn't anything up the next day, and they can do something quiet like read or draw in their own beds until a little past 10pm (sometimes we all read a chapter book together in my bed, too.  We're our own audio book)  Our kids will sleep in if they need it, though, and none of them need a lot of sleep.  If my 7 year old falls asleep at 8:30, he's awake at 6am.  My 11 year old is kind of on a teenage schedule if he has a choice, and he loves how he can sleep in during much of the summer.


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#6 of 47 Old 07-14-2011, 07:14 PM
 
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My girls do not sleep in, never have. One is usually up by 6am, the other one by 7:30am at the latest. The oldest is 8 so I let her stay up till 9 sometimes in the summer but no later then that because she doesn't catch up on her sleep. And yes, when the neighbor kids call (mine always call instead of coming by) at 8:30 or later, it does annoy the heck out of me. 


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#7 of 47 Old 07-14-2011, 07:25 PM
 
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I have fond memories of magical summer nights as a kid.  We live in WA, so that meant out after 9pm.  I would love to have my girls have this kind of experience, but no, my girls will not sleep in, not enough to offset the late night.  DD1, 6.5, needs a good 10-11 hours, DD2, 4.5, sleeps a bit more.  Daylight at 4:30 makes it hard to sleep in the morning.  I still try now and then on gorgeous evenings to stretch it out, but it never really lasts.  One day when their sleep needs can still be met and the evening doesn't end in red-faced tears and screaming, I just might.  We've a ways to go, though....


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#8 of 47 Old 07-14-2011, 07:28 PM
 
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I don't really want my dd up past 10 pm any time of year but she's been pushing it to 1 AM- working on changing that.

She needs 10 hours of sleep and I do not want her to sleep very late in the day as it impacts our whole family when she stays up late.

 

I would just set your dd's bedtime so she is getting the amount of sleep she needs and invite the kids over to play earlier in the day or evening... or maybe you could set 1 night a week where she could stay up later.


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#9 of 47 Old 07-14-2011, 07:32 PM
 
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We are usually total sticklers for early bedtimes, but this summer, I've been letting my older 2 (7 and 5) stay up later to play with the other kids in the neighborhood. Definitely not every night, but maybe once or twice a week.  I've also been conscious of how long the winter was and am trying to really enjoy this weather while it lasts.  My kids sometimes sleep in.  If they were tired and cranky after being up later, then they would go to bed earlier the next night

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#10 of 47 Old 07-14-2011, 09:19 PM
 
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first let me say dd is a night owl. she has always from birth been a night owl that changed when she started 1st grade and school started at 8.

 

so during summer she falls back to the midnight routine. even as a toddler i have found she sleeps better if she is not forced to go to bed. if she was forced she would wake up multiple times a night. if i let her fall asleep btw 11 pm 12, she'd sleep thru the night. 

 

she is the kind of child who needs anything from 6 to 8 hours of sleep. always has. and here is the reason why i let her. every 4 or 5 days she makes up her sleep. she goes to bed at midnight and is usually up at 8. however since we dont usually have to run off anywhere she lazes in bed till one of the neighbourhood friends come over. 

 

with dd i have discovered it isnt just about hours of sleep. it is how her morning is too. if its rushed, she is tired the whole day even if seh has had 12 hours of sleep. however if she has had only 8 hours of sleep but had 2 hours of taking her time in the morning - staying in bed and reading for an hour and then slowly getting up and making bfast she is much rested. 

 

the thing is i cant force dd. i mean yeah i can (and i have had when we have had to be out of the house by 7 am) but she still has trouble falling asleep by 10 am. if i want her to be asleep by 10, we start her bedtime routine by 7 (yeah two hours of arguing, mama one last times, etc) so that she is in bed by 8 pm and reading. even then somedays she can sleep at 10 pm, sometimes not.

 

however some days when no one is around she can take a nap in the afternoon - for a couple of hours. 

 

so what i am saying is she ultimately gets enough sleep - naps in the afternoon (rare but still there) or somedays sleeps 12 hours to catch up. 


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#11 of 47 Old 07-14-2011, 11:50 PM
 
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Our kids start their bedtime routine about 9 pm during the summer. That means they're in bed about 10:00-10:15. Dd (age 7) will read for a considerable time if we let her. Well no, let me rephrase that. Dd reads for a considerable time. I haven't figured out how to make her stop, short of stripping her room and her bed of all books. So, she's often up until 11 pm in the summer time. If she has to be up before 8:30, it's a problem because she need 9-10 hours of sleep. Ds simply needs less sleep. He's also much less likely to read until all hours of the night. He goes to sleep about 10:30, gets up about  7:30.; For him, that's a reasonable amount of sleep.

 

For our kids, staying out until 10 would be too late. But then, it's mostly a non-issue, as most of the kids in the neighborhood go in about 9 pm. I don't mind my kids staying UP until 10 in the summer, but OUT until 10, means bedtime isn't really until 11.

 

 


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#12 of 47 Old 07-15-2011, 12:02 AM
 
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oooh that reminds me. do you guys let any of your kids stay up all night?

 

its once in a while - v. random but dd has been up the whole night reading a book. she so rarely finds a book that suits her very well that she just. cant. put. it. down. and i have let her coz i recall those special moments myself. 

 

kids here dont play outside at 10. but they are running btw houses at 10 or 11. 11 is the latest one of the moms allows her child out. last night the dd went home at 11 and got up today at noon - and rushed over to our place to eat bfast with the rest of us. or shd i say brunch. 


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#13 of 47 Old 07-15-2011, 07:33 AM
 
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Originally Posted by meemee View Post

oooh that reminds me. do you guys let any of your kids stay up all night?

 

its once in a while - v. random but dd has been up the whole night reading a book. she so rarely finds a book that suits her very well that she just. cant. put. it. down. and i have let her coz i recall those special moments myself. 


I would let her if she was reading quietly in her room and we didn't have any obligations the next day. I'm not one to force my kids to sleep. Ds is the type who falls asleep as soon as his head hits the pillow. Dd is a lot like your dd. She's just never needed a lot of sleep. Even on school nights she's up until 10 or 10:30 reading. I'm not going to take her books from her!

 

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#14 of 47 Old 07-15-2011, 07:49 AM
 
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Here it is so hot right now(106-114 regularly) that unless we're in the pool, the kids don't play outside during the day.  They are outside enough taking fresh water to all the livestock during the heat of the day.  So, we definitely hang out outside at night, and rather late some nights.  On weekend nights the kids and the neighbor kids will be outside between the 2 houses (houses are not close together) until midnight if we don't make them come in earlier (if we have to be somewhere the next morning).  I will make my 4 yo come in and go to bed earlier, but she is regularly up 'til at least 10.  The 4 yo will sleep 'til 10.  The 12 yo dd will often (and is right now) go back to bed after morning chores.  The 10 yo ds won't usually go back to bed, but he will go to bed earlier on his own most nights if he's tired.


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#15 of 47 Old 07-15-2011, 07:57 AM
 
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Mine don't.

 

They have to get up at the same time in the mornings anyways and without enough sleep, they're crabs.  I do see the neighbor boys out riding bikes about 9 pm, but their mom stays at home.  It's just not possible for us, though we do let them stay up later on weekends.

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#16 of 47 Old 07-15-2011, 07:57 AM
 
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I let my kids stay up later in the summer (since it's sunny--well, WHEN it is sunny--until 9 PM or later!); but primarily when they're interested in getting more outdoor time.  :)  I don't let them just stay up playing video games, ect, in the house.  There's really such a short opportunity for them to play long periods of time outdoors with the weather being dry and mild that they really eat it up when they can get it (and I am happy that they do).  We don't have other kids in the neighborhood, but as long as it was daylight it wouldn't bug me.

 

I kept a tight lid on bedtime even during the summer until I realized how much fun DD (9, and my oldest) in particular had with the extra freedom to run and play.  Here in the PacNW there's pleny of cold, rainy, dark, almost wintery days this summer so far so the kids have breaks from being tempted to be running around every night until the sun sets; maybe your kiddo just needs some 'break days' as well as 'late days'.  But really, the time that your DD is going to be interested in running and playing in the neighborhood on summer days is speeding away so quickly.  To me, that's one of the essences of playing hard during the summertime, and that softened my stance a bit.  We had to tighten up on behavior guidelines at home (if she wanted to have later nights she would have to work through strategies of what to do when she was grumpy or needed more rest, she wasn't going to be allowed to take it out on me and her brothers and still get to do that).  It did take a week or two for her to adjust, but she did.  I'm finding that she thrives with limited, structured 'bending the rules' during the summer over stuff like this.  YMMV.  :)

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#17 of 47 Old 07-15-2011, 08:19 AM
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During the school year, my kids go to bed at 8:30, but I let them stay up until 9 in the summer and much later pretty often. On vacation they were up until midnight every night! They sleep in accordingly. 

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#18 of 47 Old 07-15-2011, 08:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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She doesn't sleep in the next day and is cranky all day. But maybe if we let her stay up later more regularly, she'd adjust her hours and sleep in more? I will give this more thought.
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#19 of 47 Old 07-15-2011, 08:51 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post

 I'm looking for an overview of how a variety of parents feel to help me widen my perspective, so all answers are useful.


 

I'm a wide perspective all by myself!  We've moved around for my DH's job and it's worked out differently for us in different place. We lived in Canada for awhile, not far from Montreal. It was light very late at night and summer that far north is so short and so sweet and so needed after winter. My kids slept far less in summer than in winter. So much so that I wondered if it how our bodies evolved to adjust to varying amounts of lights.  The furthest south we lived was Florida, and my kids slept about the same amount year round, and there's the same amount of light year round.

 

It's been different for my kids at different ages. As the got older, they developed the ability to sleep later to make up for staying up later.  When they were younger, if their sleep schedule was off from what they needed it to be, they just got cranky.

 

How old is she?


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#20 of 47 Old 07-15-2011, 09:14 AM
 
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During the school year my kids are in bed by 8pm, and even 7:30 some nights.  In the summer we are way more relaxed.  They seem to have fallen into a schedule of bed around 9ish.  Ds (3.5yo) falls asleep right away and dd stays up for an hour or more reading.  I don't mind them staying up later than that if we're out hanging out with friends or something, but if we're at home it's usually 9 or 9:30.  They do usually sleep in later than during the school year, but have random days when they wake up even earlier. 


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#21 of 47 Old 07-15-2011, 09:32 AM
 
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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.


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#22 of 47 Old 07-15-2011, 09:42 AM
 
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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. 

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#23 of 47 Old 07-15-2011, 10:22 AM
 
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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. 


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#24 of 47 Old 07-16-2011, 02:48 PM
 
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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.


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#25 of 47 Old 07-16-2011, 11:33 PM
 
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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.

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#26 of 47 Old 07-17-2011, 01:38 PM
 
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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!!!

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#27 of 47 Old 07-18-2011, 09:17 AM
 
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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.

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#28 of 47 Old 07-18-2011, 09:59 AM
 
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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.

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#29 of 47 Old 07-18-2011, 02:13 PM
 
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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? 

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#30 of 47 Old 07-18-2011, 02:26 PM
 
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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.

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