PostHeaderIcon Down With Bedtimes

By Jael Strong

Does your child have a bedtime? Jackson does. It’s anywhere from ten o’clock to midnight. Isn’t that terrible? Officially, I want him to be asleep during the week by ten and by eleven on the weekends. The weekends have a bit of stretch to them. If the weekend’s festivities keep him up until midnight, I don’t worry so much about it. But the ugly truth is I don’t care when he goes to sleep. Am I alone in this?

I’m not ignorant on the topic. I know a lot of parents that care a great deal about what time their kids go to bed. When we talk about it, they give wonderful, reasonable explanations as to why children should go to bed at a set time. Here are some of them (and they make perfect sense!):

  • Children thrive on a schedule.
  • Kids need adequate rest.
  • Bedtimes give parents much needed alone time.

I agree with all of that. I also know why I am the way I am. I don’t enforce bedtimes consistently for two main reasons. One, Jackson is home schooled and therefore his schedule is flexible. Two, I enjoy spending time with him and, because of our hectic schedules, sometimes I don’t settle down until after nine. If he goes to bed too early, I will not be able to spend truly relaxed time with him. Those are my reasons, good or bad.

So, what’s the conclusion of the matter? I will never be the kind of mom that ushers my child to sleep at exactly the same time every night. I will always concoct an excuse for a late bed time. We’re having company. Let’s have special family time and watch a movie. We don’t have to get up that early. They all sound good to me. He’s happy; I’m happy. Sometimes it makes others unhappy, but is it hurting him? I don’t think so. There is rarely a bedtime struggle, and, as for alone time, I’m alone right now and he is sound asleep.

One Response to “Down With Bedtimes”

  • Juan says:

    Perhaps bed times are just another example of strategems used to mold children into functioning humanoids in an overly dehumanized society.

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