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To control when college-aged child goes to bed?

21 replies

alwonderland · 31/10/2018 22:05


DD is at college (almost 17) and goes to bed at 4am, sleeps from 4am-7am and sleeps from 6pm-10pm; this is every day.

When she was in Yr 11, I felt it was definitely my place to now allow this, but now I'm not so sure.


OP posts:
TulipsInBloom1 · 31/10/2018 22:07

Why would you (and more to the point how would you) stop it?

Is she doing her college work? Is she social and active? Is she eating enough? Does she help round the house? If so, let her slewp however she chooses.

alwonderland · 31/10/2018 22:10

There's a few ways I could stop it. Not accommodate around her sleeping 6pm-10pm (eg, not leaving her dinner, instead she has to do something herself). Not letting her use the TV after midnight, etc.

She does her college work, but isn't particularly social and active. I have to ask her twice to usually help, but if she's asleep from 6pm-10pm, she isn't exactly up when I am, to help. It's just generally irritating.

OP posts:
firstevernamechange · 31/10/2018 22:12

Apparently two short sleeps is how humans slept for centuries so there's bbreally no harm in what she's doing. As long as she's staying on top of her course work, contributes to the running of the house and whatever else she needs to do, I'd let her get on with it.

TulipsInBloom1 · 31/10/2018 22:13

Meh. Stop prepping her dinner and doing her laundry etc then. It probably wont change her sleep pattern and it is obviously working for her.

Maybe suggest she gets her iron levels checked with gp for possible anaemia.

usernshfjsndj · 31/10/2018 22:15

YA definitely being U

firstevernamechange · 31/10/2018 22:16

Sorry, but your irritation is not your daughter's problem. Have a chat when you are both up about your expectations re pulling her weight.
I j

Pebblespony · 31/10/2018 22:17

Sounds like a typical student. Pretty much how I spent all my uni years. I wasn't living at home though but my parents didn't interfere when I was in secondary.

SaucyJack · 31/10/2018 22:22

I don’t think it’s reasonable to dictate when a 17 year old goes to bed. She’s too old. I had my own flat at that age.

Having said that, I assume you pay for the internet- so it’s entirely your right to take the modem to bed with you if you don’t want it being caned at night. Ditto the heating.

See if being bored and cold motivates to develop sleeping patterns that are more conducive with wider family life.

MaruMaru · 31/10/2018 22:24

Sounds dreadful. Despite humans allegedly sleeping in split shifts originally(???) it doesn't sound healthy. The total amount of sleep doesn't seem enough for a teenager either.
Have you asked her why? Is it to avoid socialising- because that's not a great sign,
Does she wake up other members of the household who have more conventional sleeping patterns during the night? That would be a big nono for me.
I would ask her why she likes to do it this way, out of curiosity, rather than in a confrontational way, and take it from there.

RandomMess · 31/10/2018 22:24

I think it's more about having basic house rules that she follows because she is in your house. So not disturbing you/having the heating on perfectly reasonable.

IncyWincyGrownUp · 31/10/2018 22:36

My body sleepsneasiest between about 4-5pm and 1-2am. It’s bonkers, and I don’t actually allow myself to sleep then as I have a family to look after. Maybe she’s just following what her body is asking for.

If she’s not actually causing you any hassle I’d just leave it.

WhereYouLeftIt · 31/10/2018 22:41

I am a lifelong insomniac, so might have a different approach to sleep patterns to yourself, OP. I am frequently awake between 10pm and 4am, although I can honestly say that I find the idea of sleeping from 6pm to 10pm a bit odd. These are the hours that generally everyone is back from work, eating together, sitting together etc. By sleeping then, I'd be asking myself - is she avoiding interacting with the rest of the household? And if so, why?

I quite like being awake in the small hours. There is a peace and serenity to that time that occurs at no other time of the day. No traffic noise, the rest of the household asleep - there is a comfort I find in those hours. Of course, how I use those hours probably differs from how she uses those hours. I catch up on my reading, plan the next day, write shopping lists - quiet activity. Sometimes I iron, or clean the kitchen. How does your daughter spend those hours? Does she find she can study in the quiet? Or not? It really does depend on how she spends those hours whether i would worry about her or not.

She may be an insomniac altering her waking hours to match her body's needs. But - she could be depressed and that is interfering with her natural sleeping pattern. Don't base your idea of her natural pattern on the past - mine has taken some fairly major shifts over the years. (I still think fondly of the years when I would sleep through the night but be wide awake and alert from 5am - them were the days Smile!) You need to talk to her about what is causing her current pattern.

As to pulling her weight domestically - my main concern would be that she is not disturbing anyone in the household by being active between 10pm and 4am. I limit my activity to quiet tasks so as not to disturb everyone else (hence the ironing - very quiet activity). The 6pm-10pm sleep might be an avoidance tactic. If I felt it was, I'd be waking her and handing her jobs to do. If I felt it wasn't, I'd be expecting her to pull her weight BEFORE 6pm. If she wants to be treated as an adult then she has to pull her wight like an adult.

Basically, you need to talk with her. Establish why her pattern has settled into this shape. Establish if it is a problem. Make clear she must not create problems for the rest of the household (e.g. disturbing their pattern with noise). And make clear that she cannot shirk domestic chores.

caffelatte100 · 31/10/2018 22:41

I wouldn't like this one bit. So she is only 16 at the moment, not a university student or an adult.

Her sleeping patterns seems at odds to a family and a social life. From your description she's doing "ok" but she could be doing a lot better.

How long has she done this for? Why does she do it and what does she do between 10 pm and 4 am? Sounds like it could be quite lonely. It seems really odd to me and I'd be putting my foot down.

FissionChips · 31/10/2018 22:45

She’s probably just chatting online to friends in different time zones. If it doesn’t disturb you and she’s doing fine at college I’d allow it.

OrdinarySnowflake · 31/10/2018 22:52

YWNBU to insist her sleep patterns don't impact on anyone else. So, if she wants to eat the family meal, she comes to the table when it's cooked, if not, it won't be left preped for her.

If she wants to stay up, fine, but not watching TV or doing anything that creates noise at antisocial hours.

NameChanger22 · 31/10/2018 22:56

As long as DD lives with me I will decide some of what she does - that includes mealtimes and bedtimes. Obviously when she gets to 17 her bed time will be a lot later than it is now. I'm not going to say 'now you are 16 you can do whatever you like'. DD knows that nobody has complete freedom, there are always some rules.

caffelatte100 · 31/10/2018 22:57

really good post, whereyouleftit
Poor you having all these hours every night, it sounds hard.

cupcakedreamer · 31/10/2018 23:01

Agree with PP's about getting her looked into for Aneamia. This sounds exactly like me when I was her age and I finally got diagnosed as being iron deficient that had been building for years. I was just too tired, and it definitely peaked in my first year of college.

AutumnEvenings · 31/10/2018 23:12

Is there any way you could arrange some evening activities to help her reset her body clock? It sounds as if she needs to be up early for college, but has little to motivate her to stay awake in the evenings. At the same age our DCs had evening activities, sports and meeting friends etc to keep them busy. Could you take her swimming or to the gym after college to kick start this? Once she has been active and falls asleep at normal bedtime, the pattern may change.

At one point we had two adult DCs living with us, for reasons which suited them financially, all too well. Now the youngest will move out when she finishes uni in the new year and we will miss her. The eldest went some time ago, after two years at home when he finished his first degree.

We both work and young people often like to keep odd hours. Part of this has been down to shift working in minimum wage jobs where there was little choice for them. One delivered pizzas until 2am and the other worked in a petrol station open until midnight at various times. As a former shift worker I understand this, there is a need to wind down and eat before sleeping. I didn't keep the family awake at night because of this, when I did shifts, as DH still needed to be up early and the kids had school.

For our own well-being we put our foot down about TVs and other devices being on at night, keeping us awake. This is no joke when you have to be up at six.

OrigamiZoo · 31/10/2018 23:13

It's not very compatible with family life is it? Not sure how you would manage it though.

DishingOutDone · 31/10/2018 23:14

Can we just back track a bit here - is your DD ok, is she depressed, has she any friends, does she enjoy activities at the weekend?

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