...to expect them to stay quiet in their rooms?!

(23 Posts)
whyohwhypeople Sun 27-Nov-16 19:36:59

3 children aged 12, 10 and 7.

We stick to the same routine every night of wind-down in rooms from 7-8pm. Showers/baths, talk to us if they like, stories if they like, play alone etc etc. No screens after 7pm.

At about 8pm they are expected to be quiet in their rooms and not bother us any more, at which point:

- 7yo is expected to go to sleep
- 10yo is expected to read in bed and be asleep/silent by 9pm
- 12yo is expected to read/amuse himself in room and be asleep/silent by 9.30pm (99% successful as he is very tired by then)

But nearly every night, at least one of the younger two comes downstairs on some pretext or is caught being up past their agreed time!!! "I feel sick/I can't sleep/I'm thirsty/blah blah blah"! We don't give them a welcome reception, so why keep doing it?!

Even worse, sometimes we go up to bed at 10.30pm and the middle one is still awake and banging around! It's like we can't even have a mental break before it all starts again at 6am the next day [rolls eyes].

When I was a kid I used to stay up very late reading, but I didn't let my parents know I was doing it!! I used to turn the light out when I heard them coming and turn it back on once they were in their room wink!

AIBU to expect them to just give us a break? Anyone else successfully dealt with this kind of problem where they just won't quit?! hmm

IAmNotACat Sun 27-Nov-16 19:39:19

I think YABU.

It's fine to expect them to be silent and in their rooms at bedtime, but YABU to expect it every night from 8pm. Especially for a 12 year old.

NewIdeasToday Sun 27-Nov-16 19:42:58

I agree. That's quite early to send a twelve year old to their room. Why don't you have different bedtimes for different ages so the older one gets some time with you?

DearMrDilkington Sun 27-Nov-16 19:46:59

Way too early for the 12yr old. I'd say 8 for the 7yo, half 8 for the 10yr old and 9 for the 12yr old personally.

whyohwhypeople Sun 27-Nov-16 19:47:05

Thank you - we did try the different bedtimes but it didn't improve matters. I will give it another go.

It's not really as if the 12 year old is "sent to his room". He's free to come and go! Just not allowed to run around the house with his siblings etc.

In any case - it's not him that's the problem. It's the younger two confused

Smartleatherbag Sun 27-Nov-16 19:51:01

I'm afraid our two are up almost as late as we are. Six year old will snuggle with book or toys but still around really till 9.30. Ten year old is lights out at ten. No electronics in bed is about the only rule.

scottishdiem Sun 27-Nov-16 20:13:52

Oh. My. God.

- 7yo is expected to go to sleep
- 10yo is expected to read in bed and be asleep/silent by 9pm
- 12yo is expected to read/amuse himself in room and be asleep/silent by 9.30pm

Is this a house or a military style camp?

"can't even have a mental break before it all starts again at 6am"

You had three kids at that age ranges. What were you expecting? Little well drilled army cadets?

The screen after 7pm thing is a little odd in that its not staggered but the bedtimes are. Also, very soon the 12 year old is going to find that somewhat of a barrier compared to his peers.

The wind-down idea is good but the military precision suggests caring more for the clock than the kids.

SerialReJoiner Sun 27-Nov-16 20:17:14

I expect quiet after we do the family bedtime routine, but I really don't care what time the older ones go to sleep - 9yo reads herself to sleep, 12yo as well, and 13yo potters about until after ten most nights. But they are expected to stay in their rooms. It works most nights...

SheldonCRules Sun 27-Nov-16 20:17:24

Wow, it's like the dark ages in that children must not bother their parents. How awful that they are banished to their rooms ordered not to bother parents after 8pm.

If you didn't want to be bothered by children why have three?

Grilledaubergines Sun 27-Nov-16 20:18:11

It does seem early I think. How long do you spend together downstairs in each others' company before the routine? Do you have dinner and then sit about chatting or watching something together? Maybe they just want to spend time with you?

Owllady Sun 27-Nov-16 20:21:02

Yabu :-D

Hassled Sun 27-Nov-16 20:21:04

I think your problem is the hour long gap for the middle one - bed by 8, but he/she knows the expectation is that actual sleep isn't till 9. So, because he's a kid, he's not going to even think about trying to sleep until 9. So that's a whole 60 minutes he has to kill - of course he's getting bored and pratting about. If 9pm is your cut-off point for sleep, then don't send him up so early.

scottishdiem Sun 27-Nov-16 20:26:16

When I was 12 I was in youth clubs and didnt get home to 9pm. Scout groups these days are from 7.30-9.15. Never mind travel to get home.

junebirthdaygirl Sun 27-Nov-16 20:28:26

Think that is fairly regular behaviour for young children. Asking for drinks, another story, saying they are too cold, too hot. It goes on. It's life with young children lm afraid. The mental break comes when, like me they are all in college. Just accept it is the same in a lot of houses. And now looking back when they are all away it seems a kind of cute!

whyohwhypeople Sun 27-Nov-16 20:28:51

Thank you for your thoughts. It's not military. I was trying to be brief and make it black and white so as not to bore people! There are more shades of grey than I described.

Of course, there are activity nights etc when it doesn't apply.

Was just wondering how others do it without using screens or not allowing themselves time as a couple etc. That's all! They certainly get all our time and attention the rest of the day and I only work part time so I can always be there for them!

Thanks again for your input.

Livelovebehappy Sun 27-Nov-16 20:30:21

I agree it's a good idea to have cut off times so adults can have a bit of wind down time to chat and chill. It's not unreasonable for them to retire to their rooms to sleep, or entertain themselves by reading etc at a set time.

whyohwhypeople Sun 27-Nov-16 20:37:15

Yes grilledaubergines we all eat together. I pick them up from school every day and spend the evening with them.

christinarossetti Sun 27-Nov-16 20:39:42

Mine are 9 and 7 and we generally have done bedtime stuff by 8.30-9pm and, like you, I don't mind them reading/pottering about in their rooms etc, or even the requests about changing audio books etc, but I really don't have the mental energy to be 'on call' all evening. I wfh for part of the evening, so I actually do need time to concentrate. But even without that I need some time without my thoughts being constantly interrupted.

Tbh, it sounds like you're managing it pretty well.

caffelatte100 Sun 27-Nov-16 21:08:57

I don't think that your timings are unreasonable but it's life that you will have interruptions from one or another. I have a 9 and 12 year old and they really need a lot of time to wind down and they take ages to get organised. So we send them to their rooms early. They undress, shower, sort out their rooms and organise things for school the next day, get out their clothes, sometimes draw or have a little play. No screens and early bedtime from 7 is excellent... kids have time for reading...

NancyDonahue Sun 27-Nov-16 22:31:25

I totally get needing adult time. Children need time to themselves too, to wind down to get a proper sleep. Our bedtimes are similar to yours, op, Mon-Thurs but more relaxed to about another hour or so at the weekends.

DH and I love our TV time after the dcs have gone to bed but most of the time we'll finally get relaxed and both nod off after a few minutes!

maninawomansworld01 Sun 27-Nov-16 23:42:36

YANBU.

Our dc's are a bit younger but that's the sort of evening routine I always had as a child and it's the sort of thing we will be doing with ours.

We often have the nieces and nephews over for a weekend (5,7 and 9) and I have found the best way to stop them coming back down after bedtime is to introduce a very simple rule:
Every time you come down for a non essential 'made up' reason gets you sent to bed 15mins earlier the following evening.
They know when they're being silly and what constitutes a genuine need to come down, even the 5 year old gets it.
I tell you, we sent them to bed a 5pm once after a particularly bad night of it the night before. It has NEVER happened again.

Kerberos Mon 28-Nov-16 07:44:31

Mine are a similar age and that doesn't sound unreasonable, inflexible or militaristic to me. They need to know expectations and be able to follow them.

No electronics sounds sensible too but does feel a bit early for your 12 year old at 7 (but he's not the issue)

I tend to find with mine that bedtime goes better if they have that wind down time that yours do.

AnnieAnoniMouse Mon 28-Nov-16 08:00:48

I think the way you have written it makes it sound more militant than it is.

I'm surprised your eldest hasn't objected to the same bedtime as the two younger ones. 7pm is early to be sent to his room to start 'winding down for bed', but given he's not complaining, then long may it last 😁

As for the younger two, I think that's just life really. Be firm when they do get up, as it seems you are, and they'll outgrow it soon enough. It's worth trying the '15mins earlier tomorrow night for made up reasons' though. We did it for general 'pissing about at bedtime' and it was very effective. In fact, the 15 mins thing was probably used for getting up as well, I don't really remember - you tend to try to forget about it as soon as you can 😬

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