For the longest time, we as parents just let our kids dictate their bedtime or would put them to bed when we were tired. This meant bedtime for kids around 10pm every night and we were exhausted. It was taking a toll on us and a friend finally challenged us on the whole late bedtime routine.
When our friend challenged us to put our kids to bed earlier, we didn’t even know if that was possible. It was a foreign concept to us. We though about all the whining and complaining the kids would do having to go to bed early and we didn’t want to have to go through it. Of course, if you don’t try and go through all the complaining then you’ll never get the reward of a quiet evening.
Instead of the boys going to bed at 10pm, we started putting them to bed at 7:30pm. They did whine about it but we compromised saying they didn’t have to fall asleep, but they had to be in their bed and reading. There was no being up and playing in their rooms. Remarkably, one by one the fell asleep until they were all passed out by 7:45pm or 8pm and we had 2 hours of silence without kids!
As our kids have grown up, we’ve changed the time they need to go to bed. It’s only fair.. but only if they are quiet. Evening time is not wild play time, especially if your little brothers are in their beds trying to sleep. We don’t always execute bedtime perfectly, but it has changed our evenings and were are now better rested and able to be better parents as a result.