I don’t know if we should travel so we can follow the short days throughout the globe, but I need to keep reminding myself that summer equinox is supposed to be a great time of year, where all the sunshine restores us and sweeps away the last cobwebs of winter. Right?
Yeah, well, when it doesn’t even get to be dusk until 9pm, we’re having a hard time remembering that the summer schedule for kids doesn’t have to be the same as the winter schedule. After all, for us at least, it’s basically impossible to get our kids to sleep before it becomes dark anyway.
Previously, I’ve talked about blackout blinds, about how we have hung blankets over window shades that turn out to be insufficiently opaque to turn late afternoon brightness into a mock late evening darkness, and I’ve also written about how bedtime vacillates between being good, smooth and painless, and being The Experience From Hell.
Well, the combination of it being bright until late and, um, our collective fatigue (and lack of Mom and Dad withOUT kids time) has brought us to more tough bedtimes right now. Last night, it wasn’t until 11pm that the three kids were all asleep: and they slept in until almost 10am this morning. Tonight I flew back from a quick stint presenting at a great workshop in Atlanta and didn’t pull up in the driveway until about 9.15pm, just to see three smiling faces eager to see me.
Of course, I haven’t yet made the shift in thinking for summer sleep schedules and promptly greeted my kids with “hi. isn’t it bedtime already?” and, well, things decayed from that point.
I just keep repeating the mantra “let go, let go, let go, let go” and who knows, maybe I’ll have fun with my late night kids too…
How about your family? How does your schedule change with the longer days and shorter nights?
10:30 instead of 9:30, not to bad. But bedtime peace is the exception rather than the rule.
It’s changed, and we definately have to use the black-out blinds or else our one year old would never sleep past sunrise.
She’s going to bed later now, about 9:30 instead of 7:30, but it’s actually gotten easier. Once our son was born (two weeks ago on Monday), our daughter started sleeping longer stretches and going to bed without such a fuss. It’s been so much better.
The rule I had when growing up, and the rule my son has had (he’s 14 now) was that summer meant you could stay up ONE hour later than “normal”, and you could sleep ONE hour later than “normal.”
That sleep part is important! Kids who sleep until 10 or 11 in the morning aren’t tired at 10 or 11 at night. Kids who wake up at 8 ARE tired by 10.
Until they get used to it, it will be a battle. What’s worse: one night of “let’s be flexible” will return you to square one.
Try it – you (and they) might like it.
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