Anna wrote: My sixteen-year-old daughter really resents that I enforce a bedtime. She’s to be in bed, lights out, by 10pm each weeknight. There are exceptions made for school events or special occasions, but I’d say 19 out of 20 days, I hold her to the bedtime. You should know, she’s a real grouch when she doesn’t get enough sleep. But she thinks I shoudl let her manage her own sleep schedule. What do you think?
You know, Anna, I’m a pretty strict mama bear. I tend to micromanage things and can really relate to your question. Trust me, I know how hard it is to let go when it comes to issues that we just KNOW we know best. We’re looking out for our kids best interest, and we know we’re right.
When it comes to something like this, though, I let go. I figure that part of my job as a mom is to give my kids wings to fly and room to explore choices on things that aren’t going to affect them long term. My oldest daughter is 14. She has a bedtime of 11 pm just for the sake of me being able to send her to bed when necessary, but she often makes her way to her room long before that. Many people would feel that 11 is way too late for a teen, but when given the opportunity to be responsible, they often are!
In relaxing the bedtime restrictions, I have a few rules:
1. Grouchiness in the morning will get you sent to bed by 9.
2. A drop in grades means all bets are off and bedtime is back.
3. If I feel like you’re taking advantage, we revisit the issue.
See what I did there? <grin> I let go, but reserved the right to grab the reins back whenever I necessary Works for me!