The Boy is prone to abusing screen time past bed time. This is a bad habit that has developed, and after last night, I know I need to do something.
Last night, The Man and I were awoken at a little after 2am by The Boy, pitter pattering about the house, doing whoknowswhat. I got out of bed, caught him awake and bouncing around his room, and reminded him that after lights out, he was to stay in his room and sleep, unless he needed to use the bathroom. “Oh yeah,” he said, “I remember.” In the meantime, The Man had turned on the TV, which he does when he can’t sleep, and which also results in my not being able to sleep… This isn’t going to work.
I had mentioned to The Boy several times in the past few days that once school started, we would need to re-institute “lights out” at 9:30pm (“lights out” doesn’t include his actual light – that stays on all night. But I digress….). I talked to him about school starting at an earlier hour this year, which made him nervous that we would bump back his bedtime. I assured him that it would remain the same, but we really couldn’t be on the electronics all night long. That really wasn’t gonna work.
This morning, I brought it up again.
“When school starts, your computer and your iPad are going to have bedtimes, too,” I said. “But that means my iPad time will be limited again!” he replied, logically. “Bedtime is for sleeping, and you shouldn’t be using your computer or your iPad past bedtime anyway, so it’s not really limiting your time. We’re going to have to put them up for the night – their bedtime will be the same as yours.”
“Can they sleep right here?” he asked, indicating his bedside table with a twinkle in his eye. I know that twinkle… “I think you might try to sneak and use those computers after bedtime,” I replied honestly. “I won’t!!” he promised, but I know better. “What happens if I catch you using it after bedtime?” I asked, reasonably. He took a minute and then said, “Then you can take them and put them up somewhere else.”
Gotta love this. Negotiating, advocating for himself, and determining his own consequences.
He’s growing up!