No time to ourselves. Because children go to bed late.

(40 Posts)
Oblomov Fri 05-Apr-13 19:55:49

Not really a teenager problem. Becasue ds1 is not yet a teen as such, but ....But I am assuming you lot will have plenty of good ideas on what to do. Searched but not found a thread with the answers I need.
Dh and I never get any time together in the evenings. No time to sit and watch a tv programme, becasue ds1 goes to bed so late. We can't start watching 'broadchurch/game of thrones /whatever which has adult content, until he goes to bed. And within an hour, both of us are dropping off and off to bed ourselves.
ds2 is off to bed at 7pm.
So this is a period of adjustment, that other parents of teenagers etc must do.

How do we get around this? we can't send ds1 to bed any earlier. He is not tired. I don't want him on his tablet upstairs, where we can't see him. Plus he shares a bedroom with ds2, so thats no good.
We don't have a conservatory or anywhere to send ds1, besides he should be with us, right?

So what do other parents do?

Fairylea Fri 05-Apr-13 20:01:53

Well we have dd aged 10 who goes to bed at 8.30 / 9.30 on weekends and ds 10 months who insists on starting the day at 5.30am everyday.... !! So as you can imagine couple time is in short supply here!

What we do is say to dd that she can read in bed for a bit before she goes to sleep (I don't allow tablets or tv in bedrooms either) and she has lots of books and a bedside light. I think as she becomes a proper teen (14 plus) I will relax the tv rule and eventually the tablet rule...

It means we get about an hour and a half of us time before we go to bed... not much!

I'm also a terrible parent and within reason I let dd watch a lot of what we watch - not very violent or sexual things for example but she's watched a few things recently like call the midwife etc which were probably a bit old for her but we had some good conversations out of it !

Oblomov Fri 05-Apr-13 20:14:26

Fairy. We are same ds1 is 10 and watched midwife. I will think about getting him a light and letting him read, but am worried that would wake up ds2 (they are in bunk beds with ds1 at the bottom).
Is there anything else I should be doing?

Wishiwasanheiress Fri 05-Apr-13 20:17:26

Er, do u have a dining room? How much do u love it? Fancy a den instead?

No better ideas I'm afraid, other than an outside room but with laptops bit more hmmmmmm...

colditz Fri 05-Apr-13 20:18:29

He can lie and read in bed. If he's not old enough to watch post watershed programmes, he's not old enough to be up past 9pm.

BIWI Fri 05-Apr-13 20:19:59

They go to their own rooms and do their own thing.

Seriously.

It is what we did at their age, isn't it?!

frazzledbutcalm Fri 05-Apr-13 20:21:39

Put second dc to bed half hour or hour after first dc. Ime first dc don't wake up as they're usually out for the count and once asleep they tend to go into a deep sleep. 8pm is a reasonable time for a 10yr old to go to bed. If not straight to sleep then reading/puzzle book/ds for half hour is fine. They need to understand you need 'adult time'.

AnnoyingOrange Fri 05-Apr-13 20:22:12

We have a playroom. Not that that helps your situation

Oblomov Fri 05-Apr-13 20:31:25

frazzled, ds1 is not tired at 8pm. He has no trouble getting up at 6am and is not tired during the day. He doesn't want to go to bed until atleast 9pm. He eants to stay up later. I have few reaons to deny him. You say 8pm. I disagree. Some children may be like that, not mine.

We're incredibly mean and send them to their rooms, but our DSs are closer in age (15 and almost 13) They stay up if they're watching what we are, but otherwise they read/watch DVDs/do teen stuff in their rooms. After 9pm is adult time in our living room grin If we had a bigger flat or more rooms like a 2nd reception or a dining room we might do it differently. As much as I love the DCS I need time with just me and DH in the evening.

frazzledbutcalm Fri 05-Apr-13 20:37:29

Oblo ... I didn't mean he HAD to go at 8. I meant IF he went at 8 that's not unreasonable. Combined with staying up reading/playing ds etc in bed for a while. That gives you your time, and dc doing something in their room. Happy medium.

EggsEggSplat Fri 05-Apr-13 20:38:33

DS often goes to bed later than me (he's 14) but as a single parent there is no couple time anyway. We sometimes watch stuff together (Big Bang Theory etc) but we do have several downstairs rooms so don't have to be doing the same thing.

Could you put a TV in your room if you want to watch things without him?

But eventually you are going to have to accept that 'child free' time really only happens when they are out - you can't send a 16yo to bed at 9pm.

MaureenMLove Fri 05-Apr-13 20:45:07

Hmm, it's a tricky situation with them sharing a room, I guess.

DD has been going up at 9pm, since she was about 11 I think. She still does and she's 17 now! Her time to herself, as much as me and DH's. Obviously when she was 11 she was pretty much going to bed to sleep, now she's on the phone or watching TV until long after I'm asleep! grin

I like the idea of a den, if that could be an option? (And I don't think he necessarily needs to be with you in the evening.) smile

BestIsWest Fri 05-Apr-13 20:46:06

I do remember this phase vividly and it's a bit of a shock at first. Ours are older now (the youngest is 15) and spends most of his time in his bedroom if he's at home. I love the time he spends with us now, it's a privilege to have him around. He's funny and intelligent and he'll have left home before I know it (sob).

BackforGood Fri 05-Apr-13 21:17:14

My teens spend most of the time they are in, in their rooms. Don't forget, as ds1 gets older, then ds2 will too, so won't need to go to bed so early. Also, as they get into their teens, there's not much on TV that they can't watch either, so not being able to watch what you want becomes a non issue.
Do you just have 2 bedrooms and one living room ?
Ultimately, you could go off into your room I suppose, but, IME once they are teens, it's good to spend as much time with them as they are willing, as you never know when they want to chat to you about something.

flow4 Sat 06-Apr-13 00:25:26

Oblomov, there is a tricky period when DC start staying up later, but you've started yours a bit earlier than most families, I think.

For me, the hardest year was 11-12, when my DS2 wanted/needed to go to bed as late as me, or even later, but I wanted to make sure he was in bed before I went... So I spent an hour or so chasing him upstairs, by which time I had my 'second wind' and then stayed up far too late. confused

If your boys are sharing a room, then your only options are (a) let DS1 stay up with you, (b) let him read in bed or (c) go to bed yourselves! I'd say he's still a bit young for (c), but it won't be long... Meanwhile, I'd probably go for a pragmatic mix of (a) and (b), depending on everyone's moods. smile

NotMostPeople Sat 06-Apr-13 09:40:09

My 10 and 11 year olds go to bed at 8.30 on school days with lights on for an hour (no iPads). The minute they go up my 13 year old comes downstairs having been in her room the whole time. We call it naughty tv time because she knows we'll be watching something that we don't want the younger two to see. As she spends so much time in her room we want to be with her and love that she wants to have her bit of time with us without the other two. It does mean that there are still things we can't watch with her around though and it's 9.30/10 before she goes up so we often fall asleep shortly after she's gone.

I find this hard no only not being able to spend quality time on my own with DH but also we often can't talk about things because there's always a child around.

DeafLeopard Sat 06-Apr-13 12:58:40

DS spends part of the evening pottering in his room (his choice), but we are quite relaxed about having a tv / computer in his room. We have discussed what is appropriate and what isn't, he sticks by the rules.

He doesn't need much sleep (ASD) so is often awake long after we go to bed, so would be unfair to send him to bed too early.

We have to time our important discussions / rows / sex life very carefully to avoid ears listening in

TheFallenMadonna Sat 06-Apr-13 13:01:54

Adult content is likely to send DS (11) scurrying to his room.

CabbageLeaves Sat 06-Apr-13 13:04:40

I know what you're getting at. I do like 'my' time of an evening and teens mean that doesn't happen.

However it's a good opportunity to watch all sorts with your teen and talk about the content. You can bet your life they will be exposed to it before long. Far better with an adult they can chat to and starts some great conversations.

As for 'your' time...well they leave home at 18 if they go to uni. grin

Go out...bath or lock yourself in your room. Lone teens can be trusted. I had one who never graced me with her presence and another who spends all time with me. Neither situation was perfect but I'd rather have had the time with my eldest.

Hassled Sat 06-Apr-13 13:06:01

What I did is just suck it up - there's no way of avoiding the fact there will be a few years in your life when you really struggle to get the telly to yourself in the evenings/any time at all without a child about. And then they leave home and you have all the quality time you want and you spend the first six months of it missing the kids.

On the plus side, it's great when your DCs are old enough to watch good adult TV with you. DS2 and I watch Mad Men, West Wing etc together - I've introduced him to Life on Mars, which he loved.

DontSHOUTTTTTT Sat 06-Apr-13 13:08:51

Get a TV for your room and either get your DS to watch DVD's in there.

DontSHOUTTTTTT Sat 06-Apr-13 13:09:38

I mean 'your bedroom '

MrsDeVere Sat 06-Apr-13 13:12:29

Interesting thread.
Because I am on another one atm about tvs in bedrooms and the main objection is that posters want their children to spend time with them, not in their rooms.

My younger ones are all in bed by 7.30-8 atm.

Shockingly I tend to go up with them, put them to bed and stay up there!
OH works in the evenings and I just cba to go back downstairs and mooch about.

I would much rather lie on my comfy bed and watch tv and noodle about on the internet.

It does make my days very short though. I don't think its particularly healthy.

Before DS1 moved out he tended to stay downstairs hogging the tv whilst I watched tv in my room.

Again, not ideal, not particularly healthy but it was a very difficult time in our lives.

If I could do it differently I would. I feel sad for those days.

<ramble>

MayTheOddsBeEverInYourFavour Sat 06-Apr-13 13:17:20

We have a tv in our room and a lock on our door grin

Some evenings we spend watching things with our teenagers and our ten year old, some evenings the teenagers are in their room and the ten year old stays with us, sometimes he's with his brothers, then other times we leave them to it and take a bottle of wine to bed with a DVD

It's a bit of an adjustment period but it soon works out and it doesn't have to be all or nothing, I love spending the evenings relaxing with the older dc but I also love time with just my DH

popperdoodles Sat 06-Apr-13 13:31:16

I totally understand. Our dc are 13, 10 and 6. They all go upstairs at 8pm. 6 yr old goes straight to bed in his own room but 10 and 13 yr old can amuse themselves as they please in their room which they share. They either go on their laptop or watch a dvd or something. We generally go to bed quite early by 10pm so we pop in and check they have brushed their teeth etc and tuck them in. This way we get an hour or so on our own most evenings.

Our house is quite small downstairs so no way we can watch certain stuff unless they go upstairs. They tend to dominate the living room with their choice of tv or games, plus 6 yr olds toys for most of the day so I don't think it's unreasonable to reclaim some space of an evening.

I accept things will change as they get even older but this works for us for now.

BastardDog Sat 06-Apr-13 13:35:31

I have a 12 and a 13 year old. They're not ready to sleep until about 10pm, which is the same time as dh and I are ready for bed. The kids usually watch TV in the lounge with us until about 8.30/9.00. Then we ask them to go up to their own rooms. They can mooch about, read or whatever, but no tablets, phones or TV.

It means that dh and I get an hour to ourselves to watch TV without endless interruptions and questions.

I appreciate we're living on borrowed time though and soon will have no time to call our own.

I find those wall lights work well for bunk bed situations. Your older ds could read then without disturbing the younger one.

Oblomov Sat 06-Apr-13 15:06:25

thanks for all the replies. This is as we thought. Have talked to dh about it. Will let you know what we decide to do.

eatyourveg Sat 06-Apr-13 18:34:16

we bought a tv with internal dvd player for our room so that should we so wish, we can retire to under the duvet with a glass of wine and a good film while the dc just get on with being teenagers downstairs

I wouldn't put a tv in any of their rooms -

cory Mon 08-Apr-13 10:14:34

It's an adjustment period but it has a lot of compensations. My dc have now got to 16 and nearly 13 and it is getting to the stage where having them around in the evenings isn't so much about having to give up on adult time as having more enriched adult time.

We were up in London over Easter and instead of having to get a sitter to see Woman in Black on our own (play much better than the film) we all enjoyed talking through it afterwards. Television is a lot more fun with more people watching.

You're at the awkard in between period atm, but it won't last long: soon you will be able to let him watch what you want to watch, or even go out in the evening and leave him in charge.

Bramshott Mon 08-Apr-13 10:19:25

We're currently embarking on a Downton marathon with DD1 (10) between 8 and 9pm and quite enjoying it.

Then we watch something else after she's gone up, but only for about an hour most nights. It's quite an adjustment from the times when our evenings were child-free from 7pm, but it's often fun.

MoreBeta Mon 08-Apr-13 10:31:52

Oblomov - our DS1 is just 13 and DS2 is just 11 years old.

On school nights they go to bed and lights out at 8.15 pm and 1 hour later on non school nights. We use the same bed time hours as I had at boarding school. The time advances by 15 minutes each year so a 16 yr old should be going to bed at 9.00 pm. Our DSs are allowed to read but no electronic machines.

Solution is send DS1 to bed earlier and let him read.

MTSgroupie Mon 08-Apr-13 10:32:23

At the age of 10, mine went up at 8:30pm to wash and then read. Lights off at 9pm. That gave us at least an hour before our bedtime. However, we did get DCs up at 6:30am though so he was always desiring bed at 9pm.
i
Some parents are Just In Time people. They let their kids sleep till 8am which is just enough time to feed them and get them off to school. And then they go on about how lucky we are and how theirs don't go to bed 10pm.

milkybarsrus Mon 08-Apr-13 16:37:44

My children are 19, 16.5 and 7, we dont actively encourage them to stay with us in the living room, but, apart from the 7 year old who is in bed by 7.30pm, the other 2 are always downstairs with us. It's not because they haven't got tv's or pcs or phones etc. We like it like that most of the time, but sometimes we would like or need to be able to discuss things with out having to wait for a gap or a time when they are not around. Sometimes, we have had to ask them to leave the room as we have had something very important to talk about and they look at us very suspiciously as if the only thing we could be doing is talking about them! So they are typical in thinking the world revolves around them. My mum told me to enjoy it while it lasts, as since my lovely dad passed away in december, she says the house is too quiet and she likes the buzz and banter in ours.

MsGee Mon 08-Apr-13 16:43:03

We have this problem with DD (4) who simply does not need much sleep. If I 'force' her to bed early she is roaming the house wide awake at 4am.

We got an iPad. Some nights she watches tv downstairs and I watch the iPad, or she watches cbeebies on iPad for a bit in bed.

She has to be upstairs by 8.30 though and in a bed so we can try and watch grown up tv.

prepares to be told my four year old needs to be in bed earlier and stands ready with packaging to post DD to anyone else

MsGee Mon 08-Apr-13 16:43:45

I realise I have no clue about teens. Just though the technology solution might help!

ds2, just 11 goes to bed between 8.30 and 9. he's normally awake between 7 and 7.30.

if your D's doesn't need much sleep what about reading a book in bed for 1/2 with a book light? or something like a tablet where he could watch cartoons on YouTube in bed, but using headphones? or a kindle paper white?

shrimponastick Mon 08-Apr-13 17:36:03

I always sent DS up to bed whether he was tired or not. He is now 15 - and tends to fester in his room, but he gets shouted down for some supper at 9.00 - 9.30pm then he is 'in bed'. Downstairs is out of bounds, as we like to watch tv on our own.

DSS is 16 now, and on theweekends he is here he also gets sent up by 10.00pm. They have their own rooms - they can play on ipads, ipods, whatever.

We tend to g to bed quite early anyway - it's never later than 11.00pm. I just refuse to leave the DC downstairs in charge of locking up/lights off/fire off.

Sugarice Tue 09-Apr-13 09:21:18

We are always in bed before our three and have loads of sky+ stuff like GoT which we don't let ds3 watch.

DVD box sets are our saviour and a tv in the bedroom.

orangeandlemons Tue 09-Apr-13 10:16:00

Mrs gee, I have a 6 year old like this. We never have any adult time, she is always wide awake in the evenings. Drives me mad

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