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to think my niece should't stay up so late?

(35 Posts)
LynetteScavo Sat 24-Oct-09 18:54:06

My niece is 16, and regularly posts on FB at 4am or 5 am saying she's just off to bed, or that she really must get some sleep now, etc.

She's always been allowed to stay up late, and SIL has always stayed up untill midnight/1am .

She's home educated, and an only child, so has no need to get up early the next day, but I can't help thinking this isn't healthy, or good preperation for working life...unless she gets a job working nights;then it would be perfect. grin

TheMysticMasseuse Sat 24-Oct-09 18:56:03

YANBU, but you will be flamed for mentioning she's home educated...

happystory Sat 24-Oct-09 18:57:47

Depends what's she's doing the next day. There was a programme about teenage development wasn't there, that said they have completely different sleep patterns to everyone else. I'd love ds (17) to go to bed at a sensible time, esp on school nights but you can't make them. He's up till 2 most nights. I don't think computers, mobiles etc help, too stimulating.

He often has 40 winks when he gets in from school and then is fine.

Hassled Sat 24-Oct-09 18:59:51

My instinct is to disapprove, and yes it's not going to make the Real World any easier to cope with. But, not your DC so not your problem/issue. She'll sort herself out.

LetThereBeRock Sat 24-Oct-09 19:00:42

It wouldn't bother me. Some people are natural night owls and don't need a lot of sleep. I'm one of those.

I never missed work because of it.

FfreckleFface Sat 24-Oct-09 19:01:00

Aren't teenagers mostly night owls? (Sweeping generalisation I know.) When I was that age I would regularly stay up until the early hours, reading and listening to the slushy music request show on local radio. Because she is HE, she has the advantage of being able to follow her natural rhythms.

And while it may not be the best preparation for working life, it is excellent preparation for student life. grin

YABU, and a bit judgy I think.

cory Sat 24-Oct-09 19:04:46

If she is home educated I can't see why it makes any difference. I kept similar hours when I was doing my PhD and I got through far more work that way than I ever have since- the rhythm suited me better. You don't know what she will end up doing- I know lots of people who work nights, so you could equally well say that having to get up in the morning to get to school wasn't a very good preparation for working life for them.

I think there are two things that matter: is she healthy and is she getting through the work.

piscesmoon Sat 24-Oct-09 19:10:48

I don't think it a good idea. When my DS was turning night into day and vice versa I told him that it wasn't acceptable. However you can't tell other people what to do with their DCs. If they happen to be family it is best to stay well out of it!

Morloth Sat 24-Oct-09 19:14:50

What difference does it make what hours she is awake/asleep?

I prefer nightshifts, suits me much better to get up at say 2pm and then head to bed about 5ish. As I have a kid at school this obviously isn't possible but if I was home educating I don't see the issue?

nigelslaterfan Sat 24-Oct-09 19:16:45

Hippy nonsense
Teenagers need boundaries and lots of sleep for development, growth and emotional health.
I think it is that thing of parents not wanting to parent.

Morloth Sat 24-Oct-09 19:22:11

What difference does it make which 8 or so hours they get though nigelslaterfan? How come it has to been between 10pm and 6am?

Earthstar Sat 24-Oct-09 19:24:13

does she get enough sleep, is she happy and healthy? If so YABU

nigelslaterfan Sat 24-Oct-09 19:31:20

It doesn't matter really but it's a indication of no structure isn't it?

cory Sat 24-Oct-09 19:33:17

not necessarily

it might be an indication of no structure in some families and not in others

nigelslaterfan Sat 24-Oct-09 19:35:02

I mean if she goes to bed between 4 and 5, gets 8 to 10 hours sleep then regularly gets up at what, lunchtime, how does that effect her eating patterns? It just seems to be absent parenting to me, but that is mostly based on prejudice. A lot of the happiest most well adjusted adults I know had fairly structured upbringings and were busy, productive and socially involved with real people not just virtual mates. I don't include myself in this, my mother had 4 of us on our own and we were chaotic and up all hours. It did me no good at all but best of luck to the poor lass, I wish I'd had more structure! I think teenagers really need it because their hormones are going so mental they need something to contain them, lovingly of course.

LynetteScavo Sat 24-Oct-09 19:38:10

She's not healthy, which is why she is home educated, and I think SIL could do more to help her be healthy, but that's not the point here.

Is she happy...I think she is. She always had a very happy disposition as a samll child, then was ill in hostpital, on and off for a year, then was a teenager (typically moody?) so hard to tell. We don't see her often. But I belive SIL is depressed, and has been for a long time.

Is she doing well accademically? No, but SIL has excuses for that(possibly reasonable), and I think there is time for her to catch up, if she wants to.

I admit, DH and I are judgey about a lot of their life style choices(not the HE I hasten to add), but would never comment on it. I am however, tempted to comment on her FB status, hence this post.

cory Sat 24-Oct-09 19:38:54

I had an extrememly structured life as a university student: went to bed at 3 am, got up at 11.30, had my lunch for breakfast and a light breakfast-type meal before I went to bed, which is supposed to be healthier anyway (aren't we always told we should eat more at breakfast time and less in the evenings?).

If she goes to bed at 4, she will still be able to get up at lunchtime, which leaves plenty of time for social interaction before the real people go to bed

of course it may be that this girl does actually lead a non-structured life with not enough outside stimulus

but we haven't been told that yet

cory Sat 24-Oct-09 19:39:57

ah, cross-posted

if there are problems with depression and previous ill health, then I quite agree that this could be a warning sign

nigelslaterfan Sat 24-Oct-09 19:47:48

Hi Cory! Respect to you

Who knows, as I say I have always envied people who had fairly structured lives when young, not cruel or destructive structures but positive boundaries in a loving home.

I think that structures can give a young person self-discipline and the ability to defer gratification. Nothing imho is more useful a skill if you want to be really happy as an adult.

Any idiot can be a happy teenager, you just please yourself, and let others pay. Until you pay later because you were an idiot!

(forgive prejudicial rant!!!)

posieparksherbroom Sat 24-Oct-09 19:50:34

People who work night shift, ie most of their waking time without vitamin e live ten years less, on average.

notanumber Sat 24-Oct-09 19:54:51

Research has indicated that adolesecents' sleep pattern is so out of kilter with adults' due to the later release of melatonin at this stage in their development.

So when they say that they aren't tired at midnight they probably aren't.

It's problematic when they have to stick to 'adult' hours for school, but given that your niece is home eduated and doesn't need to get up early, that is not an issue for her. In fact, she's probably getting a great deal better sleep than many other girls her age.

Morloth Sat 24-Oct-09 20:00:58

Everyone has a different bodyclock. Even with going to bed at 10pm or so, I don't feel properly awake and aware until 3pm. I am then having to force myself to sleep early. It is annoying.

If I didn't have to conform to "normal" hours then I wouldn't.

Am definitely a night person, mornings just don't go well here. I don't think anything smaller than an 8 should come in an am.

notanumber Sat 24-Oct-09 20:05:51

Slight tangent here, but why is it that so many people associate getting up early with virtuousness?

There's nothing morally superior about getting up at 7am on a weekend morning, yet somehow many people behave as though there is. And these same people view sleeping until ten as on par with murdering a kitten.

piscesmoon Sat 24-Oct-09 22:01:02

It is a difficult one-I would say that the whole situation sounds worrying and I would be disapproving too -but I don't think that you can do much about it. Telling your SIL what you think would probably just cause bad feeling.

salbysea Sat 24-Oct-09 22:04:20

when I was younger the only time I could study very effectively was late at night

I'd get more done in an hour after midnight than if I spent 5 hours in the morning hunched over a book going cross eyed

and I regularly stayed up till 4 or 5 - I sort of came to life at night and was soo much more efficient then

was not home schooled

and I got a good career that involved the ability to do night work

I'm not like that now, now I'm never efficient grin

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