I have been having quite a few discussions with parents lately regarding our childrens' bedtimes. Seems a lot of folks struggle with getting their kids to go to bed when the parents want them to and when they should - the parents aren't sending the kids to bed at some absurd time like 6 pm. They are normal bedtimes, age appropriate, but the kids are fighting it and making their parents miserable in the process.
I have no advice to share when they ask because I have no idea how we did it but, at one point we had 5 kids, under the age of 9 in the house at the same time and they went to bed. When we told them. There was no fussiness, no fights. We gave them the time, we expected them to go and they did.
They always did and Wallene still does.
I asked Squirrel the other day why did they just "go"? Why didn't we have a fight or a problem with them? At first she said "Mom it was expected of us, so we just did it." Okay - that is good. We never had to threaten them or punish them so I guess they were ready for bed, right?
Squirrel let me in on a little secret. Seems since the girls shared a room, and so did the boys, they would stay up later and entertain eachother, quietly, until they were ready for bed.
I swear we never heard them - and they seemed to wake up refreshed and ready for the day, so all was good. We had no idea.
Found out this method is still in the works at Chez' Skippy.
Last night Wallene came and kissed us goodnight at 10:00 pm. She went and brushed her teeth, yelled down goodnight one more time and went to bed, closing her door behind her. [I can see her bedroom door from where I sit in the kitchen.]
Pooldad and I were watching TV. When a commercial came on I muted the TV [commercials are LOUD] when I suddenly heard what I thought was talking coming from upstairs. I asked Pooldad if he heard it too. He did. I said to him "I swear if she is Skyping someone or has her TV on at 10:30 at night I am taking both the computer and TV away. She knows better."
He agreed. He then quietly walked up the stairs, popped his head in her door, stayed a minute and came back down laughing.
Turns out Wallene was wearing her headphones to her Ipod [thanks Josie! really!] and singing to music while trying to fall asleep. What we heard was the lovely voice of our 13 year old belting out tunes.
She hadn't broken any rules - the kids have always been allowed to listen to music while falling asleep.
It was just funny that it didn't occur to her not to sing while doing it. heehee