My feed

to access all these features

Parenting a preteen can be a minefield. Find support here.


Expectations regarding 10 year old getting ready for bed

21 replies

clearsommespace · 20/05/2013 20:48

I feel that 10 yr old DS should be able to get ready for bed without constantly being put back on track.

But I find I have to potter upstairs so I am aware of what's going on otherwise I'll inevitably find he's got distracted by something and still isn't in pyjamas when I come to do lights out and goodnight kisses. Or he'll be in bed reading but he'll have forgotten to brush his teeth. If I just leave him to it, progress isn't fast enough and he ends up not in bed until after 9. I have to wake him every school morning even when he has lights around 8.45 pm.

DS would like to stay downstairs a bit longer and I would be ok with this if I could be sure I could just send him up at the right time and he'd be properly ready for bed 10 minutes later. But at the moment I don't feel I can let him because I don't trust him to do what is required quickly and properly. I feel I have to be on the same floor keeping an ear open to check that he's making progress. But I don't want to be going upstairs once I've started the sort of thing I usually do downstairs after kids lights out.

We finish dinner by 8pm so when the kids go up they have 45 mins for getting ready for bed and reading time. I think this should be enough time.

He knows that the privileges come with responsability and I've told him numerous times he's not acting responsably enough regularly enough. What else can I do to get him to where I feel he should be?

OP posts:
RandomMess · 20/05/2013 20:49

IME all dc are like this at this age...

valiumredhead · 20/05/2013 20:51

All the same at that age, like trying to push jelly uphill ime!

TapselteerieO · 20/05/2013 20:54

Set a timer, he goes upstairs to get pjs and teeth done within a certain time, he can come back down for the remaining time if he has finished getting properly ready for bed without being prompted? I use my phone as a timer.

My dd is 11 and still sometimes "forgets" to brush her teeth.

clearsommespace · 20/05/2013 20:54

It's like his getting ready for bed hasn't changed since he was 5 but my expectations certainly have.

OP posts:
RedPencils · 20/05/2013 21:00

My almost 10 year old is the same. It's as though its a complete surprise every night that I'm expecting him to have pjs on and teeth brushed within 10 minutes of going upstairs.

RandomMess · 20/05/2013 21:01

Yep, it's like they revert to needing your time and attention just like a 5 year old!

clearsommespace · 20/05/2013 21:02

Tapsel, we will try that.

I find it hard to deal with because I was not at all airheaded as a child.

I was devious and if I couldn't be bothered to brush my teeth, I'd just wet the toothbrush in case my mum checked. Or if I was feeling lazy I'd get my musical instrument out of it's case and have it handy to just be finishing my practise when she got home from work. But I would never forget what I was supposed to be doing.

Looking on the bright side, he's very honest.

OP posts:
clearsommespace · 20/05/2013 21:05

Randommess, it's not reverting, he's never got the hang of getting ready for bed promptly.

LOL at the pushing jelly uphill.

OP posts:
clearsommespace · 20/05/2013 21:11

I forgot to say, it's reassuring to know we are not alone.

OP posts:
RandomMess · 20/05/2013 21:29

I meant that they revert to being 5 at that time of day Grin

Jakadaal · 20/05/2013 21:34

Sounds very familiar especially the look of surprise that DC are expected to brush their teeth every day Wink I find a laminated visual checklist helps - just clip art pics showing the main things they need to do and then they can tick it off as they go along.

Can't say it's solved everything but it has helped

Oblomov · 20/05/2013 21:36

9 yr old here. Totally get op, completely. So frustrating.

clearsommespace · 21/05/2013 03:10

Oh that's interesting Random. I'll reflect on that. Perhaps the way to go is to 'baby' him at that time of day until until he gets fed up of it.

Until recently, I used to read the same book to DCs at bed time and if they weren't ready on time, they'd miss a bit of the story. It helped them focus on getting ready on time. But I had to stop because they always wanted to read their own books afterwards and the rest of life meant we couldn't start early enough to have proper time for both so I stopped the reading aloud.

But of course they can read on/in their beds and get kisses at other times of the day so there's nothing special about bedtime any more. It's just a time of day when I get exasperated.

I wonder if there's something else I could do which isn't as time consuming as reading to them but would give them a reason to get ready quickly, particularly DS.

OP posts:
MorningHasBroken · 21/05/2013 07:38

We do what Tapsel does. At 8 I send dsd up to get ready for bed with the instruction that she's going to bed at 8.45. She can either spend 45 minutes upstairs dawdling or get ready quicker and spend the rest of the time downstairs. And every minute she's late to bed is a minute off her bed time the next night.

thebestpossibletaste · 22/05/2013 09:33

DD is 12 and still a bit like this ... Generally has to be reminded to clean teeth, brush hair and feed hamster.

grants1000 · 04/06/2013 20:28

Fuck knows, I give up with my 11 yo today, I just told him to go wash his feet as he's worn trainers with no socks playing football, THREE times he's had to do it because they still smelt, I say do your face and teeth while you are in there (only showering his feet because OMG he showered today already) and he said I only heard your say teeth not face! These things should be done without asking.

This is the same child who was a total dream at the Beaver group I lead, he was a great help with all the Beavers, sorting them about, looking after one who'd been hurt etc etc. Other parents commented on how fab he was. I suppose we all have our good and bad points.

I tell him he has tramp teeth and needs to brush them again, gets him moving pretty fast!

Tonight I need a darkened room and several large G&T's.

LadyLech · 05/06/2013 16:38

If he wants to stay up later, could you not use this as part of your bargaining technique?

So give him an allocated time for how long he needs to get ready, say 20 mins or whatever. If he has done everything that needs to be done within that time, and is on bed on time, then the next night he doesn't have to start until later. So if you want him in bed for 8:30, then if he does everything he needs to on time, then the next night he won't need to go up until 8:10. If however, he fails to do this, then the next night he'll have to go up at 7:30. And so on... Start with the time you want him in bed, and the longer he faffs getting ready means the earlier he has got to go up. If that makes any sense at all!

LadyLech · 05/06/2013 16:39

My daughter is 9 1/2 and this works with her!

soontobeslendergirl · 05/06/2013 20:33

Do you really not have dinner until 8?! My pair would be taking me to social services if their dinner isn't ready by 5pm :o They generally have an activity of some sort that dictates what bedtime will be. i.e. Scouts doesn't finish til 9.15 - home by 9.30, quick supper and up to bed - lights out at 10.15 (they are 12 and 11 at the moment)

But, my suggestion to you would be to send him up to get ready when dinner is finished and he can then come downstairs to spend whatever time is remaining before reading time/lights out as that is what he is asking for. Then, the quicker he gets ready then the more free time he gets. Just make sure that he has actually done all the things he needs to do and if he doesn't keep sending him back up to do it - he is therefore wasting his free time not eating into bed time iyswim.

clearsommespace · 01/10/2013 21:31

Sorry Ladylech and Soontobeslender, I've only just seen your responses.
We've started watching the 8 o'clock news so DS is inspired to get completely ready beforehand otherwise he misses some of it.

By the way, we finish dinner by 8. My aim is to get it on the table by 7 but it sometimes ends up being 7.30. We don't get in from school/work until 5 so it'd be impossible to have a meal on the table at 5pm. We have a snack at 5 and then do homework, music practice, activities, chilling out (or in my case cooking) before the meal.

OP posts:
sicily1921 · 02/10/2013 16:42

grants1000 can I share the dark room and G&T please, ok I will bring my own!

Seriously OP I have this every night and every school morning with my 11yr old DD, it is indeed like trying to push jelly uphill.....infact let's make that not even set jelly and one handed, hopping on one leg, blindfolded..etc etc

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.