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Children and Sleep- What's your opinion?

  1. carlacitarelli profile image59
    carlacitarelliposted 5 years ago

    What time do your children go to bed? How long do they sleep? What about naps? I've read that my younger children who are 5 and 7 should sleep for 12-14 hours and that my 12 year old should be sleeping about 10 hours per night. The younger two go to bed around 8 and get up about 12 hours later but do not nap anymore. The oldest is in bed by 9 (although he completely disagrees and says all his friends go to bed when they want) and is up at 7. I'm curious on anyone's thoughts about this mostly concerning the 12 year old since I am aware that many of his friends are up until around 11. Is that enough sleep? How do you decide what's right for your children?

    1. IzzyM profile image84
      IzzyMposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      You are joking right? You send a 12 year old to bed at 9pm?

      Did you go to bed at 9pm at his or her age?

      Children do need sleep, yes and roughly the hours you quoted. But they will get this sleep anyway because their body needs it. But being human they will still get up when they have to.

      And strangely enough, catch up when they are missing it.

      Shoot me down if you want to, but to me bed-time is not something you should be fighting over at this age.

      If they have had a full day they will either be ready for sleep, or not. If they aren't, what's an extra hour?

      Don't fight over it.

      If he or she wants to stay up a bit later, at 12, let's not forget they are almost teens, then why not?

      You are on the verge of the age when he or she goes loopy (and for a few years)! Have fun, the sleep pattern will be the least of your worries.

      1. carlacitarelli profile image59
        carlacitarelliposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        You are obviously not alone in your opinion since like I said, several of his friends are up until at least 11. However, let me first say that we don't actually fight over it (but he has expressed his opinion) and he does go to sleep when he goes to bed. He knows better than to argue with me at bedtime or he'd be going to bed at sundown the next night! I'm really wondering though just how many people do allow their children to stay up as late as 11. Most adults I know are in bed by then! I remember going to bed at 9 at his age and no later than 10 through the rest of high school. I also wonder about the younger ones and how much sleep they really need. Any ideas on that?

        1. IzzyM profile image84
          IzzyMposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          11pm is too late for a weekday night. I think 9pm is too early. He thinks 9pm is too early. Work out a compromise with him as has been discussed in this forum smile

        2. kerryg profile image88
          kerrygposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          My bedtime was 9 PM at his age, too. My sister-in-law lives with us and lets her boys (7 and 14) stay up until 11 or so, but I don't really approve, since it's sometimes difficult to get them up for school in the mornings. That whole family is night owls, though. My husband routinely stays up until 1, 2, 3, even 4 AM on days when he doesn't have to get up early, and sometimes on days when he does. tongue

          My own daughter (4) doesn't have a strict bedtime, but I aim for about 9 PM, so she's often in bed by 8:30 and rarely up later than 9:30. My own bedtime at her age was 7:30, but her dad often doesn't get home until almost 8, and I think it's important that she sees him. Also, when I was her age, I was notorious for getting up at 6 AM or even earlier, and now that I prefer to get up around 7, I'm not eager to have her bounding in that early in the morning, which I'm pretty sure she would if I moved her bedtime much earlier!  Unless she is sick, she is usually up bright eyed and bushy tailed about 7:30 or 8 AM, and that works well for me. She stopped taking regular naps about a year ago, but will take an occasional one if it's been an especially tiring day.

          With your 12 year old, perhaps you could compromise and allow him to stay up until 9:30 or 10, on the condition that a) he reads or does other quiet activities in his room starting at 9 PM and doesn't interfere with your quiet time with your spouse or disturb the sleep of his younger siblings and b) he doesn't start having trouble waking up in the mornings, get drowsy during school, or have other problems arising from insufficient sleep. If he fails to abide by both of those conditions, his bedtime goes back to 9 PM until he's 14.

    2. WD Curry lll profile image61
      WD Curry lllposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      I know a little about this. I have raised 2 families of kids and worked for 10 years at a major residential adolescent mental health facility. In my opinion it is a good time to communicate with the 12 year  old about bed time. He is old enough to process the reasons he needs a good nights sleep. He should be able to comprehend that not all parents agree and it may not be best to allow 12 year olds autonomy on deccisions like scheduling their time. Don't expect instant gratification of acknowlegement. I would offer an extra half hour (hour on special occasion) to give a measure of independence and recognition of resposibility. No sstaying up late texting or watching Family Guy.

    3. Karen N profile image41
      Karen Nposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      My kids which are 11 and 14 both go to bed around 9:30 - 9:45.  Bedtime is not a problem in our house because they are usually tired and ready for bed by this time.  I do think that 9:00 is probably just a little early for a 12 year old but then again some kids need more sleep than others.

    4. WD Curry lll profile image61
      WD Curry lllposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Izzy said the kids will catch up on sleep. She is well meaning, but this is not true. Studies show that once you lose sleep, it is lost for good. You can not catch up. At best, your body will eventually recover  from the loss. In a perfect world our sleep would never be far off schedule or interrupted. Maybe that is why we live in a nuerotic society . . . mankind isn't getting enough sleep.

    5. Ardie profile image91
      Ardieposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      My 6 and 7 year olds go to bed about 830 and get up at 7 am.  Both are in school and sports so they are going all day - no naps.  On the weekends they stay up later but wake up about the same time.  My 10 year old (11 in March) goes to bed by 10.  If she's tired she makes the determination to go to bed a little earlier.  She also gets up at 7.  She is extremely active.

  2. Cagsil profile image84
    Cagsilposted 5 years ago

    Welcome to Hubpages! smile

    Sorry, just came to say hello and welcome. I don't have kids, but there are plenty of hubbers who do. smile

    1. carlacitarelli profile image59
      carlacitarelliposted 5 years ago in reply to this


  3. rebekahELLE profile image91
    rebekahELLEposted 5 years ago

    I think you answered it with your question. You, as the parent, decide what's best for your children. You know their needs and what they need to function at their best. I think your bedtimes sound very reasonable. A 12 year old doesn't need to be up until 11 on a school night. Parents also need down time to relax and unwind without the kiddos.

    1. carlacitarelli profile image59
      carlacitarelliposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      I think you touched on something else that's soooo true when you mentioned that parents need some down time too. I love my kids but after being with them all day everyday, I look forward to those few hours of peace when they go to bed at night!

    2. Ardie profile image91
      Ardieposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Amen!!! I love love love my down time after the kids are all in bed.  With my 10 year old sometimes I tell her she can stay up but it has to be quiet time...reading, playing her DSi, sketching...

  4. leahlefler profile image98
    leahleflerposted 5 years ago

    My boys are both very young (4 and almost 6), but they are both in bed by 8:00pm. 11:00pm sounds very late for a 12 year old child. I remember writing a "treatise to abolish bedtime" at the age of 10 - I presented it to my parents, who immediately agreed. I was surprised, but then they handed me an alarm clock and all of the responsibilities to wake up on my own/make my own breakfast/lunch. And there was the caveat that if I was late to school ONE time or had any grade less than a B+, I'd be going to bed at 7:30pm for the rest of my childhood.

    After about a week of trying to stay up as late as possible, I ended going to bed at 8:30pm anyway, lol!

    1. carlacitarelli profile image59
      carlacitarelliposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      I think that maybe next year, I'll try your idea! Maybe extend the bedtime in exchange for more responsibility on his part with the understanding that he will have to go back to my plan if he is late or his grades slip. Thanks for the info!

      1. WD Curry lll profile image61
        WD Curry lllposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        It is not an exchange for more resposibility that I am talking about. It is a recognition of the resposibility that he has already displayed. "Catch them doing good and reward them" was the mantra at the facility (for severely emotionally disturbed) where I worked. Corrective discipline has it's place. Positive reinforcement is the magic key. Why wait until next year? He is being "on task and appropriate" today. Strike while the iron is hot!

        1. kirsib profile image58
          kirsibposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          I agree about this. If your child wants to act "grown up" let him by all means! Alarm clock is a great idea, same with doing their own laundry and pick clothes for next morning. And reward the good behavior with a bonus and let him learn there is always chores to be done when you are old enough to take care of yourself lol.

  5. kirsib profile image58
    kirsibposted 5 years ago

    I have 5 kids, oldest is 14 and youngest is 5, they all now go to bus stop around 7:30am every morning and get up between 6:30-7am. School days that is of course. My oldest plays football and goes to gym almost every morning before school so he gets up around 5:30am.

    To us normal routine is to try to get to your pjs little after 8pm and tv goes off by 9pm. No excuse except the days off. I've learned that more my kids are active outside, easier it is to get them to follow this routine. My girls share a room, so do my boys. I know that some evenings they do stay up until 10 or so talking to each other and reading and just relaxing and that is ok as long as there is no problem getting up in the morning.

    Every family functions different and individuals might need less sleep and younger kids tend to "crash" more often. My oldest has been training hard with his team and this has been very positive for him, he is less cranky towards others and genuinely tired and ready for bed by 9pm. Just follow your instincts but remember YOU are the parent in charge and responsible for the fact that your kids are sleeping enough to be able to function at school!

  6. Polly C profile image86
    Polly Cposted 5 years ago

    My 11 year old goes to bed just after 9 and gets up about 6.45. He just started a new high school which is a 45 min walk there and back , plus the lessons are more intense and he is tired then.  He already struggles to get up in the morning! In the holidays and at weekends he doesn't have a bedtime, but often stays up reading late, sometimes until midnight. I don't mind as I like going to bed late anyway. My three year old goes to bed between 8.30 and 9.

    1. carlacitarelli profile image59
      carlacitarelliposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      thanks for the comment... helps to know I'm not the only "crazy" mom out there making my kids go to bed early!

      1. Ardie profile image91
        Ardieposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        You're only crazy for second guessing yourself.  You know your child best and what he can handle.