Curfews and Late Nights

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Summer brings many things with it.  There are sunny days, swimming, vacations, and kids on their own schedules.  Curfews are a start, but a routine for sleep should still be maintained as well.

A bedtime to prep for Work Tomorrow

Teenagers have things like jobs to keep them on a schedule and young children have year-round bedtimes.  However, there is a “sweet spot” of ages that can easily have later and later bedtimes.  As Summer progresses, this can get disruptive for the adults in the home.  Of course, young bodies rest better with a regular sleep schedule as well.  Although middle-schoolers, in particular, like to spread their late night wings over the Summer, this can disrupt those of us that still have an early morning start.

Set a regular time to shut things down and head for bed even during the summer.  This makes the end of Summer easier when you have to impose a schedule again.  Plus, it allows you to stay close to your schedule.  In most cases, adding an hour or two to a bedtime is still workable.  You might also allow for late night reading, but no TV or music.  This approach can keep things quiet while still allowing them some freedom to stay up late.  Worst case, institute a headphones policy to keep things quiet.

Curfews to avoid worry

When I was young we had a rule during the Summer that we had to come in when the street lights came on.  This tended to be around 8:30-ish on most nights and worked well.  We could grab dinner and still go out to play before calling it a day.  It also meant that when my parents were out working in the yard they would head in around the same time we did.  This also was a pretty common curfew time.  Thus, everything tended to quiet down in the neighborhood once it got dark.  You could go to sleep at a decent hour and not worry about kids on vacation disturbing your sleep.

More important than neighborhood peace was that parents did not have to stay up worrying about their children.  They could have a little family time at the end of the day and still get a good night of sleep.

This also made mornings start around the same time from house to house.  Everyone got up around the same time and headed out the door.  Thus, those that needed to do yard work or generally make some noise in the neighborhood did so when most of the neighbors were awake.  It reduced the chance of disturbing your neighbors.

Times are a-changing

The approach to Summer and related activities has changed a lot over the years.  Online chats and games make it easy for kids to treat every night like a sleep-over.  They stay up late and probably will sleep in the next morning.  This is a tough schedule to work with if you have a business hours kind of job.  Set some rules and boundaries early in the Summer to avoid sleep disruption as you get into July and early August.

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