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Bedtime for kids

I have 2 kids: 7 yr old in 2nd grade, 5 yr old in Pre-K. Right now, they go to bed at 8. By the time I get off work and pick them up, we get home about 6. Then, we have homework, baths, and dinner. Most nights we barely make it to bed on time, usually 10-15 minutes late, sometimes 30. They get up at 6 to get ready for school, b/c they have to go to before school care so I can go to work. I am a single parent, so there is no one to divide stuff up with to get it all done. My question is: I'm thinking of moving their bedtime to 9, so we have more time. They've been staying up til 9 on break, and seem to be doing ok with it. What time do your kids go to bed and would this be a bad/good idea?


Asked by Anonymous at 11:33 AM on Dec. 29, 2008 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

This question is closed.
Answers (10)
  • That said, 9 o'clock isn't really excessively late. I can definitely see why you'd like more time with them. You try bumping it back but watch carefully and let their teachers know what you're doing so if they notice them sliding they can let you know. I would also make sure they understand this is a trial run. That way they flip out (too bad) if you have to change it back.

    Another thought is to make sure they get enough sleep on weekends. This is a good chance to catch up sleep they miss during the week, but lots of parents let kids stay up way later so they end up more sleep deprived by Monday morning.


    Answer by MAUREEN55 at 11:46 AM on Dec. 29, 2008

  • Studies show that kids perform better in school with a good night's sleep. It's got to be tough to never really get a lot of quality time with your kids, but I think having them get a good night's sleep is pretty important too. I would keep them on the schedule they've got right now and see if there's ANY possible way to change your schedule (even an hour).

    Answer by ReneeK3 at 11:35 AM on Dec. 29, 2008

  • Can't tell you if it's a good idea or not but my 5 year olds are in bed between 7 and 8 and get up between 5:30 and 7:00.
    Good luck

    Answer by dle4125 at 11:36 AM on Dec. 29, 2008

  • I have a 7, 5 and 4 year old, and mine go to bed at 8. I have also considered changing bedtime too, but I don't think that would be good for mine. They still don't want to get up at 7 when the go to sleep that early. I think it depends on the children. If they are fully rested with going to bed at nine, and not too big of bears to get up in the morning, give it a shot. If it doesn't work, go back to eight.

    Answer by Jazak at 11:39 AM on Dec. 29, 2008

  • I'm a teacher and I agree with RenneK. 90% of the time when one of my students starts struggling I ask them when they're going to bed and discover they've been staying up late. It's the first I check on when I notice a sudden change in performance. Kids need a solid 8+ hours a night.


    Answer by MAUREEN55 at 11:46 AM on Dec. 29, 2008

  • I wouldn't change their sleep time. Sure its working during break but that is b/c they are not doing the whole school thing. My kids (actually my son) ends up having trouble in school when he doesn't get enough sleep.
    BTW, I TOTALLY sympathize cause I am pretty much on EXACTLY the same schedule except my kids are 5 and 3.

    Answer by MamiJaAyla at 12:17 PM on Dec. 29, 2008

  • My almost 7 yr old and 5 yr old go to bed between 8pm-8:30pm and usually wake up around 6:45am.

    They do well with this sleeping arrangement.

    Maybe move bed time up to 8:30.....that gives you a little extra time to get them ready for bed, etc.

    Answer by MommaLucy at 12:26 PM on Dec. 29, 2008

  • If you're already having problems getting them to bed on time, as scheduled, then they are actually staying up later anyway, aren't they? I have an 8 year old and his bedtime is around 8:30 but by the time he settles down, it's closer to 9. He has a hard time getting up at 7. He'd have to be asleep by 8 to be able to get up at 6. If it were me, I'd leave it like it was simply because they aren't getting to bed on time most of the time anyway. Good luck!

    Answer by Sue41 at 12:30 PM on Dec. 29, 2008

  • I'm the OP. I just want to clarify, some keep mentioning needing a good night's sleep to do well in school. And I agree with that. But, that's part of the problem. In order to get everything done (dinner, bath, homework) before bed, it's all rushed. I feel like he doesn't really get anything out of doing his homework b/c I'm constantly "Hurry up, you gotta ____" whatever it is he needs to do next. And I'm frequently having to have him go back and re-do, b/c I can't sit there with him to really ensure he understands.
    And changing my work schedule is NOT an option. Jobs are very scarce around here, and no one is willing to be understandng when they can find someone else who's willing to do exactly what the boss wants.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:30 PM on Dec. 29, 2008

  • Where are they after school and before you pick them up? Would it be possible to actually change caregivers so that the caregiver could help them with homework and take some of the burden off of you?

    I'm curious, b/c I'm a SAHM and have thought... I wonder if people would actually come to me as as an after school caregiver if I provided this service at a reasonable rate...

    Anyway, my kids are 8 (2nd grade), 4 ( in part time, 3 mornings a week preschool) and 3 (not in school yet). We aim for an 8pm bedtime. Some nights are tougher to accomplish this since my daughter has dance one night and we get home after 8pm. They get up at 6:30am.

    Maybe give yourself a window to aim for... like 8:30-9pm and see how they do on that amount of sleep?

    Answer by SahmTam at 1:12 PM on Dec. 29, 2008