Last week I wrote a post about habits, so this has been on my mind all week. I’ve noticed a couple “bad habits” sneaking into our household a bit during this lock down time. Maybe it’s not even really fair to call them “habits”- more like “routines that might not be the best to continue long term”. 😊
One of these bad habits has been a basic lack of any real structure around bedtime. Our bedtime routine has basically gone out the window.
In normal times on school days we have a fairly regular routine consisting of sports practices, homework, piano practice, dinner, showers, maybe reading before bed. No TV or video games ever really on a school night. Bed by 8:30/9:00 hopefully at the latest (for the boys).
Well, when the whole lockdown thing started, it felt very novel and weird in a special way. It felt okay to “relax the rules”. We viewed the whole period as kind of a unique, short-lived time, a time to try to lean in and enjoy what we could about it. It felt like overkill and unnecessary to enforce a bunch of strict rules when we really had…. nowhere to go and nothing to do!!
So, we started watching movies on a Tuesday night after dinner. Or Ivan and the boys would watch a Netflix series while I caught up on some work. Or, sometimes Ivan and I would watch a show in our room while the boys played some video games (again, on a weeknight/ school night).
This has led to an actual “bedtime” becoming sort of a figment of my past imagination. “Bedtime” has morphed into….whenever the show/ game/ activity is over, or whenever someone falls asleep on the couch (ahem, Asher. Or me.) There’s been no routine anymore like we used to have.
|My kids when I suggest they start getting ready for bed at 9 pm.|
I know some of this is natural progression of the boys’ ages, and it was inevitable at some point. I knew they weren’t going to be tucked in bed by 8:30 pm sharp every night from now until they leave for college!
But I’d say my two biggest concerns are that: a) the boys staying up later affects when I can go to bed and b) this screen time/ lack of bedtime structure is going to be very, very hard to ever reverse when things go back to “normal!”
The fact is, I wake up early!! I can’t (or shouldn’t) stay up until midnight. I also have always really enjoyed and looked forward to that hour or so between 9 pm and 10 pm when the kids were in bed and I could either just sit and talk to Ivan or watch a show of our own or just read or whatever. Now many nights the boys are up until 10 pm or later! It has inched mybedtime way too late many nights and has taken that nighttime quiet time for the adults away too.
I think this is an issue that was bound to come up eventually- like I said, teenagers just don’t go to bed at 8:30 pm. This COIVD lockdown maybe just accelerated it a little bit? Most days the boys don’t wake up until at least 7-7:30, so if they go to bed at 10/ 10:30, they are usually getting 9+ hours of sleep still. Summer days are always challenging anyway when it’s light out until so late, too.
Has the COVID lockdown changed your bedtime routines at all? I’m curious if anyone else with older kids has noticed this gradual shift as well.
|Last night we bucked the “screen time” habit and played a few rounds of Wheel of Fortune! I think I might sign up for the real show….not to brag, but I guessed all the answers way before anyone else in my family. 😉|
I am grateful for increased independence in the boys. They have been able to just ride their bikes to a friend’s house and over to the gym this week for their workout class. It is strange but also really nice that I don’t have to take them EVERYWHERE anymore!