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Kids turning their own lights off ... cloud cuckoo land?

(21 Posts)
roisin Wed 16-Feb-05 19:20:24

A bit of background:

Recently we often discover ds1 (7.5) in bed reading books with torches under the duvet long after "lights off" time.

Atm the timing doesn't matter because it's half term and he can lie-in. But next week he'll have to get up for school.

I'm also worried that reading with torches is bad for his eyes. (Or is that just a myth that I fell for as a child?!)

I was considering telling him he can read as long as he likes with his light on, but he has to take responsibility for going to sleep at a reasonable hour, and getting sufficient sleep for the next day.

Do you think this is realistic at this age? Or am I in cloud cuckoo land again?

Twiglett Wed 16-Feb-05 19:21:52

I think its part of childhood reading under the bedclothes with a torch

I was never taught it would hurt your eyes as a child (although it might)

I think its lovely and if it was mine I'd leave him to it

Sari Wed 16-Feb-05 19:26:07

We gave ours little lights on the wall by their beds and they're allowed to read with these. They are supposed to turn them off themselves. Ds 1 (4.5) always does after reading for about 20 mins, ds2 bumbles around for hours and normally falls asleep with it on, but he's only 2.5 so that's probably not surprising. I guess it depends on the child but it certainly works with ds1.

Tinker Wed 16-Feb-05 19:27:10

Well, wouldn't worry too much about the torch under the bed covers. Agree, it's part of childhood just as listening to Radio Luxembourg on my transitor under the bed covers was part of my teenagerhood. I think reading makes them drop off anyway. My daughter does get up and turn her light off but if she falls asleep with it on, not really a problem.

makealist Wed 16-Feb-05 19:28:06

try him for a week or two and see how he gets up in the morning. Seems a shame to stop him, if he has a love of books imo.

helsi Wed 16-Feb-05 19:53:59

lol Tinker I used to listen to Atlantic 252 when that was pirate radio on my walkman and also the late night phone ins on local radio too!

MarsLady Wed 16-Feb-05 19:55:25

I agree. Leave him be. What a wonderful vice to have. I'm pretty sure that he'll fall asleep when tired and he should be fine. I used to do this and I'm fine. asjdflsjdfvwemlfs d see, no problem with my eyes lol

DD1 does this. Part of the thrill is the fact that I have told her not to.

SoupDragon Wed 16-Feb-05 19:57:33

DS2 is nearly 4 and he understands that he can "read" a book, and then must put it down and turn the light out. Have to say I was stunned when I went up the first night to find he'd done it.

Try giving him a time limit to start with and see how it goes.

I remember reading well past my alotted time as a child. Mum used to come in and always slid ger hands under my pillow to remove the book when she came to kiss me goodnight and I was pretending to be asleep - she knew me well

Then I started hiding it down the side of the bed...

roisin Wed 16-Feb-05 20:07:54

Thanks for all the feedback. I agree it is quite sweet in a way. He's also being quite deceitful about it, which is actually a positive too! He's always completely failed to get the concept of lying or being deceitful at all (theory of mind and all that); so doing so seems like a fantastic milestone achievement for him!

Anyway, he has recently been reading for up to 4 hrs at a stretch, so I'm not sure what will happen

Lonelymum Wed 16-Feb-05 20:12:02

My 8 yo is becoming more independent in this way. I tend to send him to bed at the same time as his younger siblings so it is too early for him. As he has recently got a room to himself, I say he can read/play until a certain time. Sometimes I think he reads longer with the aid of a torch and sometimes it does wear him out and he gets rather tetchy by the end of the week. When that happens, I put my foot down and make sure he doesn't have a torch/ gameboy to hand.

WideWebWitch Thu 17-Feb-05 06:43:34

I'd let him do it roisin, we let 7yo ds do this and he seems to go to sleep at a half decent time, usually about 8.30, maybe 9pm. And then he'll wake up later, say, 7.30 or sometimes later so I don't mind. He doesn't turn his light off though, I do it when we go to bed.

bonym Thu 17-Feb-05 15:41:30

Roisin - dd is almost 7 and we let her read in bed until she is sleepy. We put her to bed at 7.30pm and often she reads until 8.30pm. She never has any trouble getting up in the morning and doesn't ever seem tired during the day - she is actually very sensible so we trust her to turn her light off when she is tired. Reading seems to relax her before she goes to sleep and she gets through books at the rate of knots!
If you are concerned about the length of time he will read for, why not give him a deadline - i.e. can read with his light on until 9pm but then he MUST turn it off and go to sleep (make it later at weekends)

roisin Thu 17-Feb-05 17:49:36

I gave him 'no limits' last night, and he was asleep by 8.20 ... that's the earliest for weeks!

He goes to bed at 7, and has up til now had his light off at 8. But we've often discovered him still awake and reading at 10.30 (with torch under the duvet).

WideWebWitch Thu 17-Feb-05 19:08:26

Fab roisin!

hazlinh Sat 19-Feb-05 06:37:21

It's bad for your ds' eyes Roisin!!!!!

i used to read with a torch under the covers at night when i was 6. became so shortsighted that i started wearing glasses at age 7 and a half with power of 300!!! Now I'm nearing 1,000 some 20 years later!!!!

bobbybob Sat 19-Feb-05 06:45:35

My dad used ro come in to me and say "finish reading" and I would say, I'll just read to the end of the page, but he didn't come back so I kept going.

20 years later I ask him why he didn't come back and he says "You said you were just going to read to the end of the page and then turn your light out."

A blind man once came to give a talk at school, one child asked if there were any advantages to being blind. He straight away said that he could read under the covers all night from his braille books and never had to get in trouble or get cold hands.

roisin Sat 19-Feb-05 21:31:58

Hmm... It doesn't work with very exciting books! He's reading 'Restaurant at the end of the Universe' and keeps coming downstairs every 20 mins to tell me about a funny bit

Oh well, it was a good thing to try. We'll have to tighten up the guidelines for back to school!

(He had a particularly strenuous swimming lesson this am, then we took them on a route march by Lake Coniston. I can't believe he's still going!)

sophie10 Sat 19-Feb-05 22:04:43

My DS 7 was doing that so we got him a bed side light to stop the torches going missing. He seems to need less sleep now though he always used to have 12 hrs. and he seems to go to sleep quicker when he reads himself to sleep. Which I do and always have I can remember at his age getting an armache squeezing my gloworm so I could read by its light

sophie10 Sat 19-Feb-05 22:05:54

p.s. he never remembers to turn his light off though

wysiwyg Wed 23-Mar-05 13:16:30

Yes - I ruined my eyesight doing this as a kid too! But have very fond memories of it and relayed the story to my DD - when I bought her a torch (!)
To answer the question, DD always wants the light on to go to sleep - but then we just turn it off.
I think it's great when children want to read!

singersgirl Thu 24-Mar-05 22:53:15

Just found DS1 on the stairs outside our closed sitting room doors reading "HP and the Goblet of Fire". Was so delighted to see him voluntarily reading not one but three chapters that I unconvincingly feigned disapproval and rather half-heartedly shooed him off to bed, where he is still muttering darkly about He Who Shall Not Be Named and Exodia the Forbidden One (the second one's Yugi-Oh!, I think)......

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