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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.


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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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

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