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Back to school - bedtime issues

stepmomsoon's picture

Well, kids finally go back to school next week (thank heavens, right!?!?!)

Last year bedtimes for the skid's were a constant battle.. mainly for SS12 (everything is a battle with this kid)..

Almost every freaking school night we would have to go through this same BS routine and it was exhausting..

8:45 – “ok, everyone upstairs, put on PJ’s and brush teeth”
8:55 – no one has moved from the couch and are still playing on ipads and watching TV
9:05 – SK12 all of a sudden needs to get a drink, go pee, forgot something downstairs.. you know what I mean – the DELAY GAME
9:15 – Finally SK12 gets upstairs.. climbs in bed – “did you brush your teeth?” No… out of bed again..

Now, let me say this little game was allowed by DH.. he is the king of wishy washyness and the skids knew this.. Some nights he's all about the schedule.. other nights he is lax..

On the nights DH was coaching till 9:30, this crap with SK12 did not happen..

This year, I've decided I'm not going through this crap anymore.

Let me ask this? Is it unreasonable to think that DH and I shouldn't have to, every night, "make the rounds" and walk them through their nightly bedtime routine? Am I nuts for thinking they can tell time and know what is expected of them? Should there be consequences for them not doing what they are supposed to do? Like constantly "forgetting" to brush their teeth or us having to round them up all the time...

Seriously, it stresses me out and at the tail end of the day I have little patience to deal with this.. I get up early and with the combination of work, dinner, running kids to various sports things and all the other grown up stuff I am exhausted by 10pm every night.. when this bedtime crap drags out till 9:15/30, it gives DH and I no time to talk or whatever either.. so that's another aggravating element of it too..

I want to sit down with DH and create a schedule and stick to it! Tell the skids, this is how it's going to be and these are the expectations..

Thoughts on how to proceed with this?

stepmomsoon's picture

That might work, but the problem is, he is LOUD.. so when he thumps up the stairs, knocks around the bathroom and then eventually shuts his bedroom door - with a bang it affects everyone.

Plus him and his brother alternate sleeping with the dog.. so he will have to, if he stays up later than everyone (and he will) he will need to let the dog out before he comes up to bed - which will result in more noise..

Meaning, neither DH nor I will be able to go to sleep until he does..

All summer I have fought this battle.. the skids wanted to stay up till 11-11:30. I get up at 5:45 and am literally a zombie by 9:30 most nights.. I would try to go to bed, only to be woke up several times by their inconsiderate noises - last night for example, I got woke up by the sound of the back door slamming, then someone banging on it seconds later - at 10:15..

Sk14 had done something to irritate SK12 (spit a toenail on him allegedly), so when sk14 let the dog out back, sk12 decided to lock the door when he was out there.. sk14 thought it would be ok to bang on the door - instead of walking 8 feet to the other door that goes into the laundry room..

End result was I walked down and handed both of them their asses and sent them to bed for being idiots..

Neither kid has the common sense or courtesy/consideration to think "others are sleeping" and keep it down..

Sooooo.. while I would love to give him the opportunity to be self sufficient, this will cause the rest of the house to stay awake... he also won't do what he is supposed to do to get ready for bed: like put his dirty dishes in the dishwasher, turn off lights, brush teeth, etc.

stepmomsoon's picture

On a typical school night.. DH will be laying on the couch with them.. I'm usually doing something domestic... or reading with my daughter..

When 8:45 would roll around, my daughter and I would start the routine - she would grab her cat and head up to bed (the cat sleeps with her every night - right at the foot of her bed)..

DH would say something like "ok, boys.. time to head up".. then the delay game would begin - the one on my initial post.

During the summer.. DH would get in bed with me around 9:30 - and tell the kids their bedtimes. Usually the boys would be up till 11 and my daughter would go to bed sooner as she isn't a night owl.

DH sleeps like the DEAD.. nothing wakes him up. He also can go off less sleep. I need my sleep or I'm not worth a damn..

stepmomsoon's picture

What's the use? By then, I'm already awake and know that if I address it.. it will be halted immediately. If I wake him up, I have to then deal with telling him what's going on (they are thumping around again and it woke me up) and then get him to get his ass outta bed.. then wait another 15 minutes for him to get the same results I get in 3..

They do the same shit in the morning too.. during the weekends through out the school year.. so, to teach them a little lesson over the summer.. I made all kinds of noises on the weekends when they would sleep in till 10:30 or 11..

I'd get up.. talk loudly to the cat or dog "come heeeeereeee boy - who's a good girl".. thump down the stairs.. slam doors when I let the dog out or went out to get the paper.. even run the vacuum.. they would get up all pissed off.. lol.. "oh, I'm sorry, were you still asleep? - guess I should have been more considerate"

You would think that would sink into their thick skulls and give them an "ah-ha!" light bulb going off above their head moment.. nope.

stepmomsoon's picture

I didn't give him a sleeping pill.. I was taking ambien so I could go to sleep before the skids and not be woken up by their loudness.

Oh, I want to parent this kid, but I have already been forced to stay up late because of him all summer .. I would love nothing more than to be in bed asleep before 10pm so I can get close to 8 hours sleep for once..

If we tell him he can pick the bedtime.. let's say for example, the other 2 kids are in bed by 9pm.. sk12 wants 10pm (he's already arguing for this)..

THAT means, neither DH nor I can go to bed before 10pm and quite frankly, we want the kids in bed by 9pm for various reasons.

You don't know this kid or what it's like to live with him.. We have tried to allow him to make good choices and he acts like he will and then it's screw you.

When his dad was out of town and it was just me and the two skids, I had to get up extra early for a meeting.. I told him to brush his teeth and please be in bed, minus electronics, no later than 11pm.. I went to bed at 10.

Next morning, new tube of toothpaste.. unopened. Toothbrush - exactly where it was the night before.. Ipad in his bedroom. Checked the router log - he was up until 1am on ipad..

So many instances where I have given him the opportunity to do the right thing .. nope.

So what do we do? We either have to overparent and follow him around like a toddler or what?

stepmomsoon's picture

Yup.. The rule has always been to shut off electronics at bedtime.. he just decided, like with any other rule, it only applies to him when he wants it to.

So, I just shut the damn internet down at bedtime...

Drac0's picture

SS is the absolute KING of skirting the bedtime rule. He has come up with every single trick in the book to avoid going to bed and has even invented a few patented excused of his own. Here are my top ten favorites:

"I think I saw a bug"
“I need a Band-Aid.” (he purposely cut himself with his fingernails)
“I just remembered I have a math assignment due tomorrow.”
“I need to brush my teeth again, my breath smells funny.”
“I’m scared of that movie I saw two years ago.”
“The rain on the roof is making it hard for me to sleep. Can I stay up until the rain stops?”
“When I close my eyes, I don’t see anything and I don’t like that.”
“The nightlight color is ‘weird’.”
“It’s not time for me to go to bed yet” (He changed the clock in his room to be 30 minutes behind)


“I can't go to sleep, My hair hurts.”

To answer your question. Any schedule or bedtime ritual you put in place will only be effective if both you and your DH stick to it. DW and I talked about it but DW will quite often get lax on these rule which left me as the "Bedtime Enforcer". I got stressed out about it and I finally gave up. Bedtime rules was not a hill I wanted to die on. So I disengaged completely. SS is to be in bed by 10pm. I don't tell him to go to bed anymore, but after 10pm, I pretend he does not exist. If he talks to me, I ignore him. If he asks me a question, I say "Go ask your mother". However, kids need their sleep in order to perform well in school and SS had a very bad report card last semester so I am *hoping* DW will get back with the program. Time will tell.

So I'll repeat what I said before. It's one thing for both you and DH to be on the same page, but both of you have to stand firm and be consistent EACH and EVERY night.

stepmomsoon's picture

I would disengage as well and not give a crap.. but I can't because it affects me and my daughter.

I can't sleep if they are still up.. I have tried to use a fan to muffle the noise and even started taking ambien to go to bed.. then I thought WTF!?!?!? I am not going to drug myself to sleep because of them..

I agree.. DH and I need to have a sit down..

Drac0's picture

It ain't so cute when the kid is 12 coming up with these excuses.

But seriously, I should write a book! I'll call it:

'My hair hurts!' and other bedtime stall tactics

stepmomsoon's picture

Lol.. yea, it's annoying isn't it?

Does anyone call him out on this bullshit?

I've finally began doing this.. and am going to start backing up his damn bedtime to make up for his having to get a drink and pee.. "oh, no SK12 - you need to go get ready for bed 10 minutes earlier than everyone else because you need your drink and pee time.."

LOL.. make him look like the asshat he is..

stepmomsoon's picture

Oh, I understand where you are coming from... and no, I don't think you are being a jerk at all..

Bottom line is DH and I need to have a sit down. We need to set rules and tell the skids them and consistently enforce them..

If not, this won't work.

DH also has to stand by the consequences.. if he issues one because of whatever reason, the next night when bedtime is 15 minutes earlier and sk12 is throwing a fit, too bad..

stepmomsoon's picture

"allegedly"... lol

They are disgusting.. freaking sk12 will sit on the couch and pick at his feet.. it's nasty and I have told him to knock it off or go sit on the floor like an animal..