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Suggestions re ds, 8, just wants to read all night and keeps putting his light back on!

(49 Posts)
bramblina Thu 09-May-13 21:43:41

Ds is an avid reader, I'm so glad, but at night he gets between 15mins and an hour of reading in bed before lights out depending on what time he goes to bed, we like his light to be out about 8.30/9 (depends on how tired he is) and he can be exhausted but just wants to read on and on and on...

I'm delighted he loves reading, I praise him, encourage him, but after tucking him in he'll put his light back on and read some more. I find him, light out and tuck him in. And again. So we have removed his bulb, he'll find another way. We have removed priviledges, he waits then does it again the following week- BUT I don't really want to punish him for reading, I just want to encourage him to realise when he is so bloody tired that perhaps he shouldn't put his light back on AGAIN...! I also don't see the point in taking his bulb out- I reckon at 8 he should understand the resposibility....?

Any ideas?

Computer games are more addictive, force you to stay awake more, and the light is actively detrimental to sleep. I don't approve of disobedience and reading after bedtime, but gaming is worse.

Similarly I wouldn't let my DS get out of bed for a regular 11pm snack even if it was quinoa and lentil salad, but a Mars Bar would be worse.

parachutesarefab Sat 11-May-13 09:13:08

You need to decide whether it's an issue for you. You sound as if you want him to stop reading at lights out, but that you don't follow it through. He's learnt that if he keeps trying to read eventually you'll just let him.

Either you decide that he can keep his light on for as long as he wants, or
Lights out is a particular time. Any reading after that is disobediance. Treat it as you would if he was getting up and running around (it's good, it's exercise) or helping himself to fruit and veg from the kitchen (it's good, it's healthy).

Try a reward chart, where enough stars means he gets a new book, family outing (or some other treat).

But also have consequences if he does keep reading. Removing the book is the obvious one. (And not having other books in his room). Losing other treats or priveledges will work too.

You won't stop his love of reading. You will teach him that sometimes you have to wait for things you like, as something else is more important (sleep).

seeker Sat 11-May-13 09:07:11

Enough sleep does that too.

And doing what you're asked to do when you're 8 has its benefits too.

Wuldric Sat 11-May-13 09:02:06

Reading improves vocabulary, grammar and all forms of language development and expression. It stimulates the imagination and creativity. It helps academically in later life - we all know fluent readers and stumbling readers and the fluent readers have it much easier. It helps in the workplace as an adult - early-stage avid readers read more quickly and are used to processing the information readily.

I don't know of any benefits for computer gaming. Do you?

seeker Sat 11-May-13 08:55:09

"I think there's a massive difference between a child reading and a child playing computer games. Huge. I don't think it much matters what they read, either."


alienbanana Sat 11-May-13 08:52:23

My parents used to flick the fuse box and cut power to just the lights upstairs. We didn't have torches so that was fairly effective!

ByTheSea Sat 11-May-13 08:34:03

DH and I were both like this. We decided early on not to have a lights-out policy with the DC as we would just sneak read anyway when our parents tried.

Wuldric Sat 11-May-13 08:32:59

I think there's a massive difference between a child reading and a child playing computer games. Huge. I don't think it much matters what they read, either.

Ours had/have bedtimes but for reading, their bedtimes would have been infinitely elastic.

seeker Sat 11-May-13 08:26:41

That's fine- if you don't have bedtimes. Some people don't. But if you do, there is no difference between a child reading and a child playing computer games. Except that you can be secretly proud of one and not of the other!

"oh, it's such a struggle to get little Ethelred to sleep at night- he jloves Call of Duty so much- he's just raced throughout the first few missions and can't wait for the next one. I've actually had to disconnect the wifi in the evenings now!" <Tinkle of modest laughter>

Wuldric Sat 11-May-13 08:15:58

I really wouldn't forcibly restrain him from reading. Blimey. Just let him.

Madamecastafiore Sat 11-May-13 08:10:12

He is being disobedient and you need to remove the book from his room and tell him when he is responsible enough to not turn his light back on he can have his book back.

Yes it is nice that he reads but of he is so tired it is at the cost of concentration at school well it's not good is it?

seeker Sat 11-May-13 08:00:00

Absolutely. The rules shouldn't be different because it's a book.

I agree that disobedience is disobedience. Firm conversation about right, wrong and the fact that if he doesn't do as he's told the bulb will come out of his light at lights out time, but you'd rather be able to trust him.

DS lies over the end of his bed and reads by the light in the hall - he gets firm warnings and a threat (rarely carried out) to shut the door.

DD has audio books on after lights out, but they don't keep you awake quite as much. It's a spectrum, with computer games being the worst at bedtime (because they physically keep you awake more than anything else - I've never fallen asleep playing a game, even when I was a teen and went through a phase of playing til the small hours, but I've fallen asleep while watching TV, and I sleep with a book in my hand almost every night) then TV (because of the light) then books then audiobooks and music, which are fairly innocuous IMO.

Jinty64 Sat 11-May-13 07:44:11

Get him to bed for 7.30pm. Tell him he can read until 8.30pm then he must put the light out. Tell him that you will be up at 8.40pm to check - this gives him 10 mins to finish the chapter. If he has started another one then it's his problem. Go up at 8.40, turn out the light if he hasn't, tuck him in and take the book with you when you leave. If he puts the light back on and gets another book then punish for disobedience.

Be very consistent and he will get it. You could have slightly different rules at the weekend if you prefer.

MrsFrederickWentworth Fri 10-May-13 16:41:49

The boarding school trick was

Exhaust you physically
Milk and biscuit
1/2 hour tough book
1/2 hour your choice book
Lights out
Matron sat outside. Any noise, movement, light, got a telling off, or sitting on the stairs with nothing to do.

After a week or so you were tired and tired of the punishments and sleep and virtue coincided.

I followed this with Ds, pretty much, on other things. It works. Two weeks, with latitude at weekends, isn't too hard. Esp if you have a glass of wine and book to hand.

PolterGoose Fri 10-May-13 16:06:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NowWhatIsit Fri 10-May-13 15:32:50

I'm so pleased you posted this, become a real issue for us. My nearly 9 year old does this, he seems unable to self regulate at all. The only method that works is sitting outside his door, but it means staying there half the night, I can't spend hours of my life this way!!
We left it for a couple of weeks to see what would happen if we didn't police him, he stayed up till 11 or 12, was like a zombie, couldn't concentrate in class, couldn't do his.homework and I got called into school about it. We have taken bulb out - he goes to bathroom, we have pulled fuse for his entire floor- he crawls down to pool of light on stairs etc. We have tried rewards, punishments etc. Nothing works. All suggestions gratefully received#

mistlethrush Fri 10-May-13 13:19:04

My 8 yo does this too - but the difference is that we get him in bed (normally) by about 7.15 so say he can read until 7.30 then its lights out - occasionally have an issue with the light going on again, but we've explained that the problem is that he's tired the next day and its better to read for a bit and then go to sleep so that you can start reading again in the morning.... At the moment that's working.

Starxx Fri 10-May-13 13:14:29

If the books are reachable they will be picked up!

My son loves to read at bedtime so we have a story (whether he reads that to me or I to him) but when I leave, I tell him he has half an hour and then the book must go down and he must go to sleep.... he is in bed for 7 (he is 7.5 years) and ususally therefore going to sleep by 7.30pm.

I have caught him reading past this, reminded him and taken the book.....which is what I would do!

All for loving and encouring the reading but when its bed time its bed time!!

Star xx

codswallopandchips Fri 10-May-13 10:36:42

I'm so glad to see other people have the same problem!! Whenever I've asked for advice IRL, I usually just get "oh, isn't it wonderful that she's reading" - yes, but also would be wonderful if she did what she was asked...

At one point we had to take the bulb out of her bedside lamp too. She just went and read in the bathroom!

On the other hand, she's just aced the reading element of the standardised tests, so, y'know, swings and roundabouts...

He's still quite young - could you do a starchart where if he goes a week with lights out at reasonable time he can buy a new book/charity shop book on Saturday?

DeWe Fri 10-May-13 10:26:41

You can tell if the light was on by feeling the temperature of the lightbulb. Don't touch too hard though or you may get burnt. grin

DorisShutt Fri 10-May-13 10:24:57

Audio books.

Then he still gets the story without the eye strain - and will fall asleep!

seeker Fri 10-May-13 10:22:51

Are people just a little bit proud of their bookworms? grin

Replace "book" with "iPod" and see what responses you get!

haggisaggis Fri 10-May-13 10:13:13

If it was a games console you would just remove it - so do the same with the book. Read until prescribed time then take it (them) away.

WandaDoff Fri 10-May-13 10:02:51

Nobody ever managed to stop me, I still fall asleep reading my kindle most nights.

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