Several nights over this summer, Bear has announced to me that he doesn’t like going to bed. So, I came up with a solution.
One night when I didn’t have to work the next day, the kids could stay up as late as they wanted to. Stipulations included not waking the adults & not arguing. If either of those things happened, it was an immediate trip to bed.
Last night was the night & honestly, the three of them did very well. Butter had a bit of a freak out somewhere around 4:15 this morning & the kids were told to finish the episode of the TV show they were watching & head to bed. All of them claimed to be very much NOT TIRED. They all slept until just before 11 AM, though.
I don’t know what prompted me to come up with this plan. Normally, they start getting ready for bed around 9 PM & are in bed no later than 9:30 PM. It’s a bit earlier during school time. Though, who the heck knows what is even going on with school this year, so who knows whether or not their bedtime will change? I knew I had to make sure that I didn’t have to work because I didn’t want to stress J out with having them be annoying to him. He’s currently at work, but he got up later than the kids & took a nap this afternoon. I was up most of the night, not because of the kids, but because my head felt vaguely like someone was shoving an ice pick into my right temple.
Maybe I came up with this because I want to be the fun parent? That’s very likely not it but I believe kids should have that kind of fun. In the past, we’ve made it a point to have ice cream for dinner at least once during the summer. J & I are talking about a role reversal day with them, where they get to be the “adults” for a day. They’re already planning how they’re going to make us do all of their chores & especially that they’re going to make us go outside for an hour & a half [they have to do at least that much time outside most days] without our phones. I laughed & reminded them that they’ve got just about every excuse in the book for not actually staying outside their allotted time. Yesterday, they came in after about 40 minutes because they saw a spider & thought it was dangerous.
They’ve been well behaved today, too. Bear was a bit grumpy when he had to go to bed this morning & when he woke up. Butter didn’t want to get out of bed. Having them do their chores in order to get their electronics today was a little closer to pulling teeth today but nothing terrible.
Maybe my parenting philosophy is not yours, but these kids were safe & they had an absolute blast staying up until almost 5 AM. M thought I was teaching Bear a lesson when I told him that I let them stay up last night, but it wasn’t about that, either. I’m want to say that I’m teaching them real world experiences. Had I wanted to be hard on them, I’d have woken them up after only a couple hours of sleep so they can learn what parents go through when they’re in the throes of parenting. But no, I wanted to let them have fun. They had a great time, they didn’t give me crap when I told them they had to do certain things before the night could start, & they worked through 90% of their issues without needing parenting intervention. Because I was up all night, I know how often they had discussions about what they were going to do next. It was surprisingly democratic [and we’ve got two who can be super bossy].
The fact is, I’ve got a 9, 10, & 12 year old in the house & I’m learning on the fly. I only had boys up until J & I starting dating & now my mom thinks it’s hilarious he’s got a daughter since I always said – because I was & am a total tomboy – I had no idea what I would do with a daughter. I still don’t know what to do with a daughter. Blending our families is a something one of my dear friends asked about, so I’ll address that in a future post.
Enjoy your evening, everyone.