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Schedules and Bedtimes

Posted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 9:37 pm
by Ceili
I'm going to admit right off the bat that I'm not a very scheduled, structured, or organized person. I do what I need to do, but I don't have a set time to do things (and I've been known to put a few things off now and then--but nothing really important and I do get to them in a reasonable time frame). My 11 yo son is very much a night owl and he comes alive at night. He's so happy, pleasant, clear-thinking and productive. I have no problem allowing him to stay up and read, do school work, play music, clean his room, etc. However, my husband has it in his head that it's "wrong"--he needs a "normal" schedule: go to bed early, get up early, have set times to do specific things, etc.

I'm pretty sure my husband thinks he needs to go to school so he can be on a schedule and have more structure in his life. I don't think that's the way to go, but I'm willing to implement more structure here. The problem is that I'm not naturally a structured person myself. I've tried to implement a schedule in the past, but I think I overwhelm ds with this sudden and detailed "schedule". He rejects it, fights it tooth and nail, and eventually things ease back into the way they were.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can ease into some more structure? Should I just have a set order or specific times for things? Should I start out with just two things a day that we must do at specific times and then add one thing each week or every two weeks?

Also, do you think you can change your circadian rhythm? If you shift the current bedtime by 15 minute intervals, will you eventually adjust?

Thanks for any help you can provide!

Posted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 8:13 am
by elliemaejune
Well, it would be good to try some changes if your dh thinks it is important--maybe not as many as he thinks is necessary, but at least *some*.

I sure wouldn't try to implement a big change; as you have already experienced, it probably wouldn't be successful. But what about just one thing at a time, like lunch served at 12:30 daily? Or tidy up the house at 4:30 before your dh gets home? Something that would make sense and yet not be painful, lol.

I don't know about changing your internal time clock. I do know that one of my dds had trouble sleeping and often was awake long after the lights were out. And yet, here she is as an adult, and still manages to get to work at 5:30 in the morning, meaning she had to get up at 4. When people are adults, they usually manage to do what they have to do, don't you think?

Posted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 2:10 pm
by Theodore
I'm a night person myself, but when I was taking my summer Calculus III course and had to get up early in the morning four or five days a week, I adjusted to going to bed a lot earlier. The first few days weren't very much fun, though.

Posted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 10:02 am
by Ceili
Thank you, elliemaejune and Theodore!

I definitely think making one change at a time is the way to go. If he gets overwhelmed, he'll resist everything.

We have a "flow" of activities, but my husband is VERY organized and has specific times for specific things. I just don't think it's reasonable for us to aspire to that, but I think that implementing more structure (gently, like you suggested) will work.

I'm hopeful about the body clock change, but he didn't turn his bedroom light out until 10:30 last night--he was actually in bed reading when I told him to turn off the light. And that kills me, too--telling him to stop reading. He just got up and it's 8:00. I think it will take a few days to get used to shifting sleep-time.

Thank you both again!

Posted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 1:41 pm
by elliemaejune
Ceili wrote:I'm hopeful about the body clock change, but he didn't turn his bedroom light out until 10:30 last night--he was actually in bed reading when I told him to turn off the light. And that kills me, too--telling him to stop reading. He just got up and it's 8:00. I think it will take a few days to get used to shifting sleep-time.


Well, those hours aren't so bad. And I totally understand about telling a child to stop reading. :-) I suspect that my dc sometimes played that on me--"But Mom, I can't do [enter chore here] right now because I'm reading!" :lol: But the bedtime thing wouldn't bother me so much.

Posted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 7:56 pm
by momo3boys
Ceili wrote: He just got up and it's 8:00. I think it will take a few days to get used to shifting sleep-time.


maybe it is just me, but what is wrong with 8am? My boys are up at 8 and reading for school at 9am, they have had breakfast and a few minutes to wake up and even walk the dog. The schools start at 9, so is 8 really that bad?

Posted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 11:58 pm
by Miss_Kristy
--maybe it is just me, but what is wrong with 8am? --

Ugh, but 8am is sooooo early. We are night people around here. No one gets up before 10am and that's on school days. The summers are even worse, or better depending on how you look at it. :lol:

I guess there's not anything WRONG with 8am if you like to be up at that time. But if you get to choose........ well, I guess my bed may just be too comfy.

Posted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 7:38 am
by 4given
It's been great reading the different takes on this. :)

I am a night owl. Although I was able to force myself to rise at 5:30am for years...that is not my preference.

My boys apparently need lots of sleep. A 10pm bedtime leads to a 9am wake-up time. School starts between 9:30 and 10. Works for us.

Posted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 7:56 am
by Ophelia
Schedules don't work for us. I've been trying for 6+ years to get my family on one and it just doesn't work for us.

First off, I am NOT a morning person. I've tried to be. I've tried really hard. But I'm just one of those people that wakes up and stumbles around in the morning and needs to just sit and veg for a bit. I can, once a week, rush around in a flurry and get us out the door if I MUST. But I pay for it the next day.

I've always said that if my kids went to Public School they would be in trouble for being late everyday. I would never be able to pull it off.

For our homeschooling I don't really schedule "writing lesson at 10 am", instead I make a list of goals for the day and try to make sure every thing on the list gets done at the first possible opportunity.

I still have this idea that when the kids get older we'll be more on a schedule. But with a baby in the house, the hopes for any kind of schedule are pretty much shot in my opinion. All that comes of me having a schedule for us is a stressed out cranky Mom.

Before we had children I was that super structured schedule oriented kind of person. And I was miserable. Of course, I didn't know that until I got off the schedule merry-go- round. I'm much more relaxed now and would never push my kids for too rigid of a schedule. I think it stifles their creativity.

*stumbles off to find more coffee*

Posted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 8:23 am
by sunnie_skys
I think what works for your family is fine and may not work for other families. But hey, it your family and no one elses. My son goes to bed at 8:30 and wakes up between 7 and 8. We usually start school at 9am when the baby goes down for a nap. However my schedule may not work for other families and thats fine too. That one of the reasons we homeschool. If your son does better at night you can always create a school schedule at night to make hubby happy too.

Posted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 10:46 am
by Jazzy
Why don't you schedule school for the evenings or after dinner, and do chores or other stuff in the mornings. Would your husband be okay with a schedule that included a later wake up time and school in the late afternoons, as long as everything is scheduled out.

I think it's important to let kids work at the best times for them (without going against your dh's wishes, of course). My dh is a successful business man, but he is not a morning person. He can do things in the morning if he has to, but when he has a choice he stays up late working into the night. He is just most productive at that time.

Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 11:43 am
by FCMomofaBunch
When I was in Junior High/High School age, I found out that I was a true night owl and a late sleeper. I could sleep until noon if I was allowed to. Public School isn't that flexible. I have read that teens need a lot of sleep. That is one of the many, many reasons I am for homeschooling. Maybe your son isn't a morning person and wouldn't function effectively in the morning, so let him get his sleep and when he wakes up, he will be able to focus on his studies, possibly being more efficient in his work.

OK, ok, I know this doesn't teach the children how to work in the real world, working the 9 to 5 grind, but they can learn how to adjust themselves when they're adults, or modify their work schedules and find a career that allows them to work when they are most productive.

Posted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 2:42 pm
by Shari Nielsen
There are quite a few schools in the area that are switching and bringing the younger kids in earlier and the older kids in later b/c they need more sleep or at least different hours - more activities during the night hours and more sleep in the morning hours.

Posted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 1:59 pm
by ROCKWELL
In our home there are several distinct circadian cycles at play. My wife is a night owl and takes a while to get going in the morning, like our 11 year old son, whereas I frequently wake up just before dawn and am ready for bed no later than 10 or 11. Our daughter who is four goes down around 10 pm and sleeps hard until 8 but wakes up ready to go, while the eight month old goes to sleep at 8 and sleeps like a log until dawn, but then wants to get going.

We've all learned to accommodate to each other's unique sleep patterns rather than to try and alter them and frankly it works. Each of the parents gets a specific alone time with each of the children based on this- I love to hear my wife fill me in on the conversations that took place at midnight between our son and her and I really look forward to getting breakfast and spending some quite time with the two youngest as each one wakes up.

It's easy to get caught up in what kind of schedules are expected of people as opposed to what works best for them.

Posted: Mon Mar 24, 2008 9:35 pm
by kevinsgirl
This is such a refreshing discussion!

I am a night owl through and through, but I've found that sometimes morning people tend to be a bit supercilious about that (Ahem, dh). I also don't function well on a schedule & I used to be a public school teacher whose day was marked by bells every 50 minutes!

I echo what Ophelia said about a list of goals/tasks to be accomplished during the day, instead of a 'schedule'.

We also sort of do what Rockwell said, where dh lets me sleep until 8/ 8:30 & he gets up with the kiddlets. That's a huge blessing, even if I do get grief about it.

It's hard to change the traditional way of thinking; that the early bird catches the worm & all that... It sounds like your son is thriving by being given the gift of working with his own inner clock...