Saturday, January 23, 2010

Bedtime, or do my teens have colic?

When the girls were all little, cute and cuddly, I would give them their baths, often at the same time, put them in their footsie pajamas, cuddle and tickle with them, read them a story, have the "I-love-you-more-no-I-love-you-more" arguement, say Shema, kiss the mezuzah and turn out the lights. By 7:30, it was all over and I had blessed peace until I myself turned in. (Okay, it wasn't exactly that idyllic. There was of course, the hour of I'm thirsty, I need to pee, so-and-so is looking at me, the other so-and-so threw up, the hour after lights out, but still, I had a fair amount of quiet time between the time they went to sleep and the time I did).

And it was a sweet bliss that now lives only in my memories.

Now they are teenagers (cue horror music). Okay, well, Orli is only 12, but that's just a technicality. She's been acting like a teen for what seems like a decade now.

And the bedtime issue drives me nuts. I know that some limits have to be set and they are. But sometimes I feel like the arguement isn't worth it. At what point do you leave it up to them? What if you have a responsible kid who knows her limits and is asleep at a decent hour, except for some occasions when she is up late talking to friends or listening to music? What if you have a kid who just wants to stay up a little longer every night?

What if you just don't want to see the little runts (who are more precious to you than anything in the world) anymore, but they are still roaming around your house like a bad movie that never ends?

I'd say the girls get an average of 8 hours of sleep a night, this with some encouragement from me to GET TO BED!

At what point do I stop policing their bedtimes?

Because I gotta tell you, I am so ready.

18 comments:

ilanadavita said...

Difficult issue. I'd ask some friends with teenagers what they are doing. I'd probaby have different time limits depending on their age and the time they have to get up the next morning. Then there is bedtime and sleep time, which are two different things.

tesyaa said...

I feel like we are twins. I have mostly given up, although around 11:00 I start making noises for ages 12 & 14 to get to bed. The oldest, 16.5, I have mostly given up on entirely and she goes to bed probably around 1:00.

I figure as long as she's getting on her 7:50 am bus every day, there's not much I can or should do.

On Friday night, she has been going to bed right after the meal, around 7:00 pm.

Karen said...

I stopped policing Binyamin last year and, like tesyaa said, as long as he gets up for Shacharit/school every morning I am pleased. I think he gets bored after the adults go to sleep - unless an Avalanche game is on - so I think he usually goes to bed around 11:30.
The difference by you is that they have each other for entertainment. Binyamin has only himself.

I would leave #1 alone. And as the kids get to be 15 or 16 let their independence be their milestone. I would still send #3 to bed at an appropriate time.
Good luck with whatever you decide.

mother in israel said...

Reading, but no suggsetions.

Commenter Abbi said...

Thinking back to my own teenagerhood, I definitely had a 10:30-11 pm bedtime throughout highschool. But I also suffered terribly from insomnia, so i was motivated to try to get to bed earlier to at least get some sleep before I woke up around 2-3 am.

I think you need to look at the whole picture- getting to school on time, grades and i think you can discuss with them your own issues of having quiet time in the house to yourself after a certain time at night. Why can't they be sensitive to your needs just as you are sensitive to their's?

I think it's silly to have a bed time for a college student, but I don't think it's unreasonable for a high school student.

Mrs. S. said...

Why does this sound SOOO familiar? :-(

an average of 8 hours of sleep a night
All I can say is, הלוואי that this would be true for all my teenagers...

Anonymous said...

I feel exactly the same way. I need some time by myself!!!! I have three teenagers 12-15 and two little ones. I don't want to see the teenagers after 21:00. I don't give them a bedtime and let the two older ones do what they want. The 12 y/o cant watch TV or play on the computer ater 21:00. Nevertheless, I still often have them in MY ROOM late at night.
Ariela

Baila said...

ID,

Yes, they definitely have a time when they have to be in their rooms. I guess I don't care what they are doing as long as they are not doing it in front of moi!

Tessya,

On Friday nights the kids are hanging out at the Bnei Akiva Snif and I have the curfew arguement with them. I usually fall asleep before they come home.

Karen,

The girls don't entertain each other, unless you call arguing over whose turn it is to use the computer entertainment. And I'm tired of arguing with the youngest that because she is the youngest she has to be in bed by a certain time.

Mom,

NO SUGGESTIONS???? Well, what the heck am I supposed to do now?

Abbi,

I know, why CAN"T they be sensitive to my needs?

Mrs. S,

I had a feeling you'd undertand.

Ariela,

Oy!

Gila Rose said...

Well, no advice here from Land of the Little People, but I can offer you evening respite. You are welcome to come over any time after 7:30 and read old People magazines on the couch. I can't promise you'll find *room* on the couch in between various art supplies, books, and Buzz Lightyear, but you are welcome to try!

Anonymous said...

Our kids have both a "curfew" time and a "lights out" time until they reach 12th grade.
Irregardless, they must KEEP IT QUIET during the later evening hours so that their younger siblings (and OLDER parents) can wind-down and relax.
Curfews and lights-out times are later over the weekend than on school nights.
Broken curfew = you're grounded
Broken lights-out = angry screaming parent, but not really much else....
Hang in there!

Bashful

tesyaa said...

To all those who mention quiet, kid-free time in the evening: I have to say I remember it fondly, but now I don't feel the need for it (which is good, because I don't have it). There are some advantages to spending time with my older children later in the evenings:

(1) I hear about their day, either directly from them or when they talk to their sisters and I overhear.

(2) Occasionally direct heart-to-hearts. Since I'm working and the time I spend driving them to school is minimal, we don't have a lot of time to chat during the day.

(3) As long as they are awake, they are fair game as a target for meeting MY needs: e.g. washing a few dishes, putting away dishes, carrying baskets of laundry.

Commenter Abbi said...

Those are all good points Tesyaa. I'm sure it will all feel a lot different when my son will cease to see the toilet brush as a fascinating toy.

LeahGG said...

Still speaking from the kid side of the equation - my mom had a rule that we had to be in our room and quiet by 9 on school nights, 10 on weekends, unless we were watching whatever she chose on tv. (i.e. Saturday Night Live)


For a while, when she was working on her dissertation and we only had one computer and I also needed it for schoolwork, we had a bizarre system where I went to sleep at 7pm, and she'd work on her dissertation 'til 1am, then wake me so I could do homework, then I'd go back to sleep around 3-4, and wake up around 6:30 for school. Strangely, it worked really well for about 6 months, and then my mom finished her dissertation and we worked out a new schedule.

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hello bedtime is great cause you can resst and have fun the next day if god will of curse .

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bed time for the kids is like around 7 cause they have to rest and for the oldest is a little more late but the special time is 8 so the body can detox form all the bad thinks that we drink and eat during the day .

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