When does your young teen go to bed? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 21 Old 03-26-2009, 01:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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And you do impose a 'bedtime' ?

My 13yr old ds has been telling me he thinks we are unfair to ask him to go to bed at 9:30 on school nights. Once he's in bed, he can read or draw as late as he wants but we still feel he needs to wind down. When he doesn't get enough sleep, he is irritable and short with us. We are very lenient on the weekends... Are we being unfair? He feels very strongly that we are treating him too young.
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#2 of 21 Old 03-26-2009, 01:45 AM
 
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I'm big on sleep and so is my 13yo ds. His bedtime is 9:30 on school nights as well. He comments that when he goes to sleep later, which does occasionally happen, he has a hard time the next day. We don't enforce a bedtime on non school nights, he self regulates.

However, some kids (and people) just need less sleep. If my son were petitioning for a later bedtime, I would probably let him try staying up a half hour later and see how he does with it.
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#3 of 21 Old 03-26-2009, 05:24 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Eclipse95 View Post
I'm big on sleep and so is my 13yo ds. His bedtime is 9:30 on school nights as well. He comments that when he goes to sleep later, which does occasionally happen, he has a hard time the next day. We don't enforce a bedtime on non school nights, he self regulates.

However, some kids (and people) just need less sleep. If my son were petitioning for a later bedtime, I would probably let him try staying up a half hour later and see how he does with it.
Our son is only 10, but this is exactly how we do it and will until he is in high school. His bed time is 9:30, and I can tell he has a hard time getting up the next morning if he stays up too late the night before. He has no set bedtime on non school nights, within reason. He will be allowed to self regulate as he wants to as he gets older, but for now we let him stay up late but make him go to bed once we see he is getting tired.

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#4 of 21 Old 03-26-2009, 11:09 AM
 
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When does he have to get up in the morning?

What would happen if he went to bed whenever he wanted? Would he eventually realise on his own that he needed to go to bed at a reasonable hour or pay the consequences?

FWIW, my Homeschooled son who just turned 13 has a loose bedtime of 10:30. It is often more like 11:00. However - he rarely has to get up at a set time.

The only reason we have a bedtime for him at all is because:

a) DH is less into consensula living than I. This is a compromise, lol

b) Ds is addicted to the computer. One way we limit this tendancy to zone out in Wow land is through creating an enviroenment that does not allow him to regularly go on for multiple hours at a time. Only having one computer is one, setting a bedtime is another.

DD, 10, has a 9:30 bedtime for the reason you mentionned. She is behond difficult and crabby if she stays up must past 9:30.

Kathy
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#5 of 21 Old 03-26-2009, 11:16 AM
 
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What does he want to do to wind down besides read or draw? Does everyone else in the house go to bed around 9:30, or is there a lot of activity around the house after his bedtime? Does he have older siblings?

I'd recommend asking him how late he wants to stay up, what he thinks he will do in that extra time that might help him wind down, etc. I would point out that you don't expect him to be asleep at 9:30, just in bed, and that he can do many things--reading, drawing, writing/journaling, listening to ipod--to wind down in that time.

If my kid was petitioning for a later time and could provide a few reasonable points as to why he should be able to stay up later, I'd let him. I *would* emphasize that there would be NO missing school because he stayed up late. I'd definitely point out that you feel he's grumpy when he doesn't get enough sleep, and that if he starts missing more school with complaints of not feeling well or if he starts exhibiting behaviors that negatively affect others in the house or at school, then the bedtime would be moved back earlier. I mean, just let him know that the extra freedom of having a later (or no) bedtime also comes with the responsibility of self-regulating, and having to get up and go, perform at school, and in general be a decent member of the household no matter what time he chooses to go to bed. Let him know how sleep affects the body, and also that some people need more or less than others.

Emphasize that your bedtime recommendation is not as punishment, it just merely reflects your knowledge of how much sleep a human his age typically needs. Recognize to him that you realize he is an individual, and that if he REALLY thinks he needs less sleep, you would be fine with a later bedtime. Ask him to explore this further--is it an issue of him needing less sleep, or wanting more time to do stuff, or not finding the right activities to help wind down at night, or that his friends stay up later and he wants to do what they do? Help him decide how to manage his time so that he can still fit in everything he wants to do, as well as get the right amount of sleep.

He's at the age where he can reasonably make these choices, especially if you can gently nudge him into examining all aspects of the issue. Really, bedtime-schmedtime, it's not that big of a deal. But it's a great opportunity for you to help him really examine his requests, motivations, actions and consequences with a safe topic. If you can help him in depth introspection NOW with a topic like bedtime, imagine how much better he'll be with other, bigger decisions later?

My 13 year old goes to bed before my 10 year old. Sometimes we have to remind them of the time--if their lights aren't out by 10, we'll peek in the door and let them know it's getting late (okay dh will, I'm often in bed by 10). Honestly, my oldest is usually asleep by 9:30 at the latest, and has to drag herself out of bed at 6:30. My youngest is usually asleep at 10 or 10:30, and pops her crazy self out of bed by 6am. I just can't identify with that, but whatever works. We used to impose a bedtime when they were much younger, but as they got older, it has evolved to us nudging them towards bed. They don't like feeling tired and yucky during the day, so they go to bed when they need to (most of the time).
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#6 of 21 Old 03-26-2009, 02:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much for your advise and your suggestions, I really appreciate your time. Forgive me as I don't have the quoting function down so I'll answer best I can...

Kathymuggle: He has to get up for school 6:30 at the latest. The bus comes at 7:15 so that gives him the time to shower, eat and get out the door. I suppose I could drive him to school a little later but I'm not sure but that disrupts his younger sister's routine..(she's 20mos and likes to sleep later)

To answer your question about consequences, I do think he would be able to get himself to bed earlier if he was tired enough or if he started to feel tired in the day.

lorijds: Ds13 is the oldest of his siblings. They are all in bed for the most part by 8:00, after reading your post I got to thinking what his real motives are and I'm thinking he could possibly be needing some time with dh and I without his younger siblings. It is the time of day he's able to talk uninterrupted and have our full attention. Actually you gave me alot to think about as far as his independence and decision making.

We'll talk tonight and try a later bedtime for him. I'm sure he'd thank everyone here if he knew..
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#7 of 21 Old 03-27-2009, 01:08 PM
 
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At 13, mine were going to bed ~10. I don't recall when they had to get up... probably around 6:45. Now, 15yo goes to bed at ~11, although will sometimes make it earlier. She's awake at 5:30, up at 5:45, out the door at 6:05 (showers in the evening).

17yo self-regulates. Sometimes it's 10, sometimes after midnight. He's up at 5:45 and out the door at 6:30 (showers in the morning).

Both know that they're not missing school for staying up late, unless it's something previously agreed upon, nor will I drive them in.

Both stay up 'til whenever on non-school nights, and sleep in on weekends.
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#8 of 21 Old 03-27-2009, 01:48 PM
 
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My fourteen year old daughter is in her room by 9:30 but is up till 11:00 most nights, even later some times.

Someone moved my effing cheese.
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#9 of 21 Old 03-27-2009, 09:48 PM
 
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My 13 yo goes up and usually to sleep at 9 on school nights.
It is only fair to her body and her teachers!!!!!
She presently has 8 soccer practices and 4 games a week-
but the 9 oclock is any and all school nights-
o sometimes it is 8 thirty
and yes she is sure she is the only one in the whole universe sent to bed that early.
She gets up at 6:45 or 7 ish....
but is a cranky cranky mess if tired.....
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#10 of 21 Old 03-30-2009, 01:48 PM
 
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Like most of the others, bedtime is determined by what time they have to get up and how much sleep they need. Years ago, when they argued about bedtime, I said "If you wake up in the morning with no alarm every day for a week, then I will know you are getting enough sleep, and you can stay up later. If I have to set the alarm to get up every day, you are going to bed either att he right time or too late - definitely not to early".

It was their bodies that determined bedtime - NOT me.

One thing we try to do - DH and I too - is maintain the same schedule even on weekends. My 14-yr-old sons, who get up about 6:45 on school days, are usually up by 8 on weekends, sometimes earlier. It doesn't seem like they need to do a lot of catching up on weekends.

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#11 of 21 Old 03-30-2009, 05:03 PM
 
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My son is 13 1/2. He has to get up at 6 in order to get to school on time. He's a night owl (like me), so even though he goes to bed by 9:30 (we're mean parents, it's unfair, and he's the only one in the whole wide world who has to go to bed so early) and needs that 2 hours to wind down, but he hates it. He has a choise of reading with the light on, sleeping, or listening to his IPod in bed, but he needs to be trying to sleep by the time my Hubby and I go to bed, which is around 11:30. He takes forever to fall wake up in the morning and I can tell that many mornings, he simply has not had enough sleep, but we haven't found a better solution yet. On days there's no school the next day, he goes to bed around 10:30-11, and needs to be trying to sleep by the time I go to bed, which on weekends, can be as late as 12:30 or 1. )

My little girl is 8 1/2. She has to get up at 6:30 in order to get to school, but she goes to bed between 8:30 and 8:45. She's more of an early bird- she's up and ready for the day no longer than 5 minutes after we wake her up, and she's asleep no more than 15 minutes after we tuck her in. On nights she doesn't have to get up early the next morning, she usually stays up until 9:30, sometimes 10 or 10:30.

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#12 of 21 Old 03-31-2009, 07:23 PM
 
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My fifteen year old goes to bed at 10
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#13 of 21 Old 04-05-2009, 11:54 PM
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My 11 year old ds goes to bed at 9:00

My 13 year old dd goes to bed at 9:30

My 15 year old ds goes to bed at 10:00

Sounds like you are on target

Trying to do the right thing with three kids and a hubby. 
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#14 of 21 Old 04-06-2009, 12:02 AM
 
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im not a mom of a teen but recently was one. my mom let me go to sleep when i wanted, ut if i was tired in the morning it was my problem since i was the one who had to stay awake at school. i would stay up really late a lot but i got my kids dad to call and wake me up at the absolute latest i had to get up to get to school on time so she wouldnt say i was staying up too late to get myself up
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#15 of 21 Old 04-06-2009, 12:18 AM
 
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My advice will not be popular, but it worked for us. By the age of 14 or so, I let my kids regulate their own sleep patterns. I never called them in sick to school, and we didn't tolerate rudeness to the rest of the family because they were tired. By allowing them to decide when they were tired and needed to go to bed, they felt listened to and the battle over when to go to bed ended. Yes, there were some nights in the beginning when they stayed up too late, but they regulated themselves very quickly. When it quit being an issue, they usually went to bed of their own accord between 10 and 10:30 every night - even when they were high school seniors.
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#16 of 21 Old 04-11-2009, 02:20 AM
 
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My 12 y.o. 7th grade dd goes to bed whenever she wants for the most part. I usually ask her to go upstairs if she is still down here by 11:00, and I prefer her to be upstairs by 10:00 - but I don't force it.

She showers at night, gets herself up and ready and fed and is on her way out the door to walk to the bus stop about the time I'm getting up each morning (7:30ish). If she couldn't do that, I'd force an earlier bedtime but she can. So it works for us.

8 y.o. 3rd grade dd goes to bed at 9:30 but reads or listens to music for another 30-60 minutes after that. She has to be to school by 8:30. Again, it works 99% of the time so I don't see an issue.

5 y.o. kindergartner goes to bed at 9:00 and actually has lights out at that time. She has to be to school by 9:15, and we make it but barely! Of all of them, she is the only one who really could use an earlier bedtime.

I think forcing a child to try to fall asleep before they are tired is a little disrespectful. I've been a nightowl always - could count the number of times I've gone to bed before 1:00 a.m. between age 14 and 39 on one hand. My kids - as infants - were always late to bed and late to rise. Our family just works that way until forced to change by school schedules.

If the person (adult or child) can get ready in time for work or school, and is not grumpy to others in the family due to tiredness, I think bedtime should be chosen by the person doing the sleeping.
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#17 of 21 Old 04-14-2009, 11:15 AM
 
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Our 15 year old goes to bed at 9:30. He gets raging migraine headaches if he doesn't get enough sleep. He sleeps until 8 most mornings.

Our 11 year old goes to bed at 8:30.

Our 5 year old goes to bed around 7:30-8, she comes in on her own to get her jammies on and tell us it's time for her to go to bed. She's an early riser.

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#18 of 21 Old 04-14-2009, 04:52 PM
 
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My son is 13 and in the 7th grade. He goes to bed between 8:30-9:00 on school nights- it works for him. He may lie in bed for a while before falling asleep, but he needs sleep. Just the other day he told me is often tired. If I let him stay up as late as he wanted, he would not make a wise choice about when to go to bed. That may change, but he is not a mature 13 y.o.- I know some kids are, but he is not.

His sisters are 8 and 11. The 8 y.o. goes to bed at 8 and the 11 y.o. goes to bed at 8:15. They share a room so the staggered bedtime serves a purpose.

There are times when classes, games, etc., may change the time, but that is our schedule. I am a person who needs routine, and my kids have always functioned best that way.
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#19 of 21 Old 04-15-2009, 01:22 PM
 
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DS (14) had a good point. He said that if he went to bed too early, he lays awake unable to sleep and ends up staying up later than he would if he just waited until he gets tired. He self regulates (for the most part) and is in bed by 10:30/11 on school nights. Later on weekends.

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#20 of 21 Old 04-16-2009, 06:45 PM
 
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Both my teens are "tucked in" at 10 p.m. on school nights. One has an early school start time, the other... never wakes up on his own (needs his sleep).
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#21 of 21 Old 04-17-2009, 10:03 AM
 
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Asking advice here. I have four children ages 14,6,5,and 3 yrs. They all get up at 6:00 am. My son that is 14 never gets up in the morning and keeps turning the alarm off, or never even sets it.

When I wake the smaller children they all get up and come downstairs. But the 14 yr. old is a struggle. He is in bed by 9 pm most nights. So my question is if he sleeps 9 pm then has to get up at 6 am why is he not getting up in the morning and so tired still?

What bedtimes are realistic for my kids ages 14,6,5, and 3? The smaller kids go to bed around 8pm.

And since my dh and I go to bed around 9-10pm how do we fit alone time together if there are kids up? Just curious if anyone seems to be in the same boat or not.
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