for those who unschool bedtime - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 12-15-2010, 05:06 PM - Thread Starter
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So for those who unschool bedtime....


how old are your kids? my 7 yr old DSD will stay up until 1 am on her own, ds until 11pm but baby likes to be asleep by 9... it just seems they like would keep each other awake.


also what do they do so as not to disrupt other children who are already asleep or parents that need to be at work in the morning?  


Note: perhaps this only work if the kids have their own rooms ? 

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#2 of 4 Old 12-15-2010, 08:00 PM
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Was not sure from your post - Are the three currently sleeping at 9, 11 and 1 respectively?    If so is there any problem with that?  Or are the older ones disrupting the sleep of the younger ones?  Or are you concerned about the lateness in itself? 



We have a small house with only 1 bedroom.  dd is 7 and her bed is in the same room as ours.  Since she was 3 she has been a night owl (though she slept quite early till she was 2).   I try to live and let live though I also remind her to get brushed, changed and ready for bed first and then play / read till she is sleepy.  

Not sure what you mean by "unschool bedtime"  DO you mean

- encourage child to learn how to sleep at the right time for their needs without dictating the time?
- not have a concept of "right time" and not worry about when child sleeps?

If I did nothing whatsoever I imagine dd would be up past 1 or  2 - she went through this phase around age 5.   ANd it could have slipped further to 3, 4 etc as I have heard other unschoolers report.   I did not want that to happen so I did take active steps to try to get all of us in bed on this side of midnight.  To the average person it still looks like "she has no bedtime." 


also what do they do so as not to disrupt other children who are already asleep or parents that need to be at work in the morning?

Is the disruption because they want the others to play with them or just because of the light and sound involved in their being awake?   Either way, I think this is part of learning how to be part of a family, and be considerate of others.   I am not much in favour of having separate rooms, multiple stuff if the purpose is to avoid having to share or accomodate others' wishes and needs.  

Even though I actively encourage dd to be ready for bed by 10 or 11, I let her have the light on and she can play / read quietly.  She still can't reach the switch to turn it off (without "getting all the way up and then having to fall asleep all over again")  herself so she has to tell me and I have to turn it off but I fall back asleep right away so this is ok.

If there were multiple children ( I wish I had .... sigh) then it might need more work, more explaining.   Apart from that, if you wish to encourage early sleep, then I can only recommend what I did ever since dd was a baby - to facilitate sleep at night, make the day active and exciting.  Have things to look forward to the next day - not nec. at 8 am but having things to do in the morning or right after lunch, can be a draw.   Also the whole bit about routines helps too.   I think even 1 am probably all right though I am more comfortable with midnight (or before!) - somehow once you cross that it seems like it will just get later and later - at least that was our experience so I deemed it time to step in.

relaxed-unschooler mama to dd (2003). hoping for second one. love being a mama!!
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#3 of 4 Old 12-15-2010, 10:52 PM
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My kids are currently 7, 12, 14 and 16. We've been "unschooling bedtime" since the get-go. These days generally the two younger ones go to bed at about 11:30 or midnight. The 14yo now goes to bed at 1 or 2 a.m., though for years he was the earliest of the bunch, at about 10:30 pm. My 16yo has been a night-owl since the day (or night, actually!) that she was born, though tonight she was tired and went to bed before 10. Often she's up until 2 or 3 a.m.. We used to have pairs of kids sharing bedrooms. Currently only the 7 and 12-year-olds share. 


The main issue has always been dh, who takes 24-hour on-call and has the earliest start to his day, so he likes to be in bed by 10 pm and really values whatever uninterrupted sleep his work allows him. The party line here has been "your right to stay up late ends where daddy's right to sleep begins." In other words, if staying up past 10 interferes with dh's sleep, it's a problem. If you can stay quiet enough that you don't disturb him (or any others who want to sleep) that's fine. Same deal with the bedroom-sharing kids: you need to be quiet enough coming to bed that you don't unduly disturb your roommate. As cheery said, it's all just part of being in a family: respecting others' needs, comforts and wishes. 


Bedtimes are one of the things we discuss regularly at family meetings: just to make sure that everyone is aware of ways in which their own choices about bedtimes might be negatively affecting others in the family. Often there's no problem, but it's good to discuss it anyway, just so that we're aware of how our choices could be affecting others. 



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#4 of 4 Old 12-16-2010, 03:15 AM
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Well it's 10pm here and 1.5 year old and 4.5 DC have just gone to sleep. This is an early cycle for both of them. Typically the four year old is up closer to 11pm. The little one is dropping his nap so he can be all over the place sometimes crashing at 6:30pm sometimes up till 2am. As a little bub though he preferred to go to bed closer to 8pm and I suspect once he settles into a no nap pattern (in a year or two lol) he will get back to something similar. We all sleep together in one room and as yet we haven't had any problems with anyone waking anyone else up. Our main challenge is that DH often works late (like tonight, he's not home yet) and DD doesn't like to be by herself so if the toddler wants to sleep she will come to bed with us even if she isn't the slightest bit tired. It doesn't seem to keep him awake but it does frustrate me.

Grateful mama striving to respect the two precious beings entrusted to me DD '06 and DS '09
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