I haven't enforced this lately, but up until recently (about the time we all moved in with my mother to help take care of my grandmother who has stage 3 dementia), I made my 8 and 10 year old boys go to bed at 10 pm on a non-school night. On a school night it was 9 pm. Of course I hear all the time that at their father's house they don't have a bedtime on weekends/holidays (oh the joy of being divorced), but my husband and I feel that they need sleep no matter if it's a school night or not, and they, my younger son especially, seem to wake up around 8 or 9 at the latest no matter what time they go to bed, so if they stay up til midnight, then that's only 8 or 9 hours of sleep they are getting and I know it's important for kids their age to get 10-12 hours of sleep. Do any of you enforce a bedtime when it's not a school night? I just wanted to get some opinions on this.
P.S. I went in the living room a half hour or so ago and was going to tell them they needed to go to bed and I almost fainted. They were playing a BOARD GAME. No electronics whatsoever involved. I really should mark that on the calendar!
I believe bedtimes create consistency, as well as keep kids healthy and alert during the day. Board game, electronics, homework ... doesn't matter, in my opinion. Teach them that bedtime is a normal fact of life and that sleep is important for a healthy lifestyle, regardless of what they would be doing if they were to stay awake later.
In regard to their father not enforcing bedtime ... you have zero control. I am a step-parent of 2 (and they each have different mothers, so I'm no stranger to difficult step-family situations!). YOU enforce what the rules are in YOUR home because you DO have control over the messages you send when they are there. When my SD begs for pop-tarts or toaster strudels in the morning for breakfast, she is reminded that in my home, no one eats pure sugar for breakfast unless it's their birthday She gets a list of healthy choices, and she picks one. Her mom doesn't do things that way, but I don't care ... it's my home, and I intend to raise my own son under the same rules, so she will just have to abide when she's in my home.
If you feel guilty or like your boys will like their father over you, I think that's normal because you want them to think you're awesome, so perhaps you could make the last hour or so before bed REALLY FUN ... but then stick to your guns and enforce bedtime.
I agree!! When I was a kid I had a bed time for school nights..non- school nights...holiday nights...& summer nights.lol. Of course weekend & summer & holiday were later, but we still had a bed time!! Like splahitk said they need that & it is YOUR house so no matter what goes down at dad's house it isn't going to happen here!!! Of course he'll seem cooler, but I wouldn't sacrifice what is better for them vs. what they want!!! Like they say if your kids don't like you you are doing something right!!lol!!! Good Luck & stick to your guns!!!
*TTC CYCLE #40*
I haven't been enforcing it not because their father lets them do whatever they want (and for the most part I already know I'm cooler than him, because my oldest complains about him frequently), just because this move has exhausted us and lately I have been to tired to care! I know that sounds awful, but you'd be surprised how mentally exhausting it is to sit with someone all day who can't remember what you said 5 minutes ago, and even if she can she either doesn't understand it or doesn't want to hear it (i.e. you can't have another pain pill for your legs because it's not time yet). You also can't leave the room for more than a couple of minutes without her calling your name over and over and over until you come back in the room. Add that to the fact that she is very hard of hearing and you have to scream at her all day...and it makes for a very long day. It is getting better as I am getting more used to it, and I have informed them that they are going to start back going to bed at a reasonable hour every night. I just wanted to know that I wasn't the only parent in the world that set a bedtime for her kids even on weekends and holidays