I let my 11-year-old stay up a bit on the weekend and during the summer, but maybe an hour or so late. She wakes up early usually on her own so that isn't an issue. During the summer she would sometimes stay up quite late but really just for special events, not as a rule.
The 4-year-old goes to bed at the same time regardless.
I guess I like to generally keep our schedule because I think it's hard to adjust your inner clock all the time. But I try to have a bit of flexibility.
we're fairly flexible. Bedtime is anywhere between 8:30 and 10:30 (local time, not home time zone) on weekends/vacation. If someone is sick or cranky, bedtime is earlier. On a family trip that involved a lot of traveling and socializing, I had an epiphany: It isn't bedtime unless somebody cries. Now, that's not how I live my life usually, but I'm not going to go home early from a wedding reception I traveled 12 hours to get to because of bedtime.
I put my 22-month-old to bed at tennish. If he's tired earlier, I let him sleep earlier. If he's not tired at ten, I don't push it and he can just sleep when he wants. I let him nap when he wants, too.
He's not even two! It's not like he has any scheduled plans to get up for the next morning. He has to go to daycare at 9:30 am about four times a week, and he's able to get up for that. If he's extra tired, he'll just nap more.
I realize the "sleep whenever" approach isn't commonly done, but I have a perfectly healthy and happy kid, so...
I think as he gets older, I'll start to teach him about going to bed early to stock up on energy for the next day. Our local school starts at 8:30 am so he'll have to go to bed earlier when he gets to school age. But I imagine I'll always have a lax approach to bed time, a gentle approach. It's just sort of how I roll. My husband and I tend to sleep whenever too. We have irregular work schedules and tend to cat nap if we have time off (lately, we have been pulling some speed-deprived 14-hour days, so there's a downside to freelancing).
On the weekends and other days we don't have to be anywhere (summer) they get up whenever they want to. I'm certainly not planning to get up at 6am in order to ensure they do. The oldest is typically up by 7 am and the youngest by 8 am. We do stick close to bedtime on the weekends. Usually within an 1 or 1 1/2 anyway. My oldest will be up at 6am if I am or not, so he really does need to get to bed at near his normal time.
During the summer it gets tough to get the kids to bed when it's so light and now I don't work during the summers anymore so they stay up until it gets dark and get up whenever (usually 8ish). Then a few weeks before school starts we slowly start adjusting the bedtime back to the normal school year bedtime and start getting up at 6am.
My kids are 7 and 10.
mamazee my dd is a night owl. from birth. she would have her last big feed till she was 3 at 2 am and then go down for a deep sleep. till she started first grade she went to bed around 11 to midnight.
now absolutely she stays up till midnight on friday and saturday (unless we have to go somewhere early) and summers - omg. i felt like a taskmaster putting dd on any schedule during summer. summer is her "video game" time. meaning books adn reading. she's been staying awake all night reading since she was 8.
today she is 11. having a hard time in school. i am trying to convince her dad to hs her. so school right now is tough for her. staying up on frid and sat, is like therapy for her - gets her excited and in party mode.
i would like her to get to bed early but she can never fall asleep before 10. if that. usually its between 11 and 12. and she has to be up by 6:30 at the latest. somedays she is tired but she is a child who from birth has never slept long hours.
we are in the process of hsing. i know the first thing to go is a bedtime. and if the bedtime goes i know the stress will lessen a LOT too.
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