As a teacher, I was always amazed at how many children didn't go to bed until 9pm or later. I taught kindergarten, I taught full day kindergarten, and there was NO nap. I as a 20 something teacher was in bed by 9:30pm and was asleep by 10pm or earlier. I knew I would not be able to function effectively if I didn't get a good night sleep. On more than one occasion I informed my classes that they should be going to bed no later than 8pm on a school night if they want to function their best in school.
One year I had a parent who told their child to inform me that I would get to pick bedtimes when I had my own child. I guess in some ways it could be offensive to some parents that your child's teacher told your child they were staying up too late, but hey if the child actually told the parent, maybe the child thought so too.
Well I am now the mother and I still don't understand how parents could keep their children up until 9pm or later. As I mentioned in my post on Monday about naps, my boys are asleep before 8pm almost every night. When they were younger I was VERY strict about bedtime. Now, I have more of a bedtime window. We start bedtime (brush teeth, read stories, love for everyone, and tucked in) anytime from 6:30-7:30 depending on the day, what is going on and how tired the boys are already. I know with my boys that the more tired they are often the harder time they have falling asleep if you let them stay up too late. I know that my boys need a solid 11 hours of sleep to function, and 12 hours to really be themselves.
It still floors me when we go out and see parents bring children out late at night. Over the weekend, Richard and I went out with friends. When we go there, there were some families there already. But, what baffled me was the later it got the more children that were there. It was after 8:30pm and I saw parents coming in with children who were under 5 years old, and this was not a place you stayed for 30 minutes and left. When we were leaving at 9:15pm there were still people just getting there with children. My comment to Richard was "Our sons better be fast asleep by now."
I understand that many families have a different time frame than me. Many families have their children in day care and often do not eat dinner until almost 7pm. I just don't understand how they expect their children to function on so little sleep. I think this is a prime reason that many day cares insist on a 3 hour nap for all children ages 1-3. Children need more sleep than adults. Children need sleep to grow, learn, behave, and just function in general.
I know for a fact that my children will still go to bed early when they are in school. There will not be a teacher telling my children that they need to go to bed earlier, because they will be going to bed earlier than most.