According to the recommended sleeping time I found online
( http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-michael-j-breus/children-sleep-deprivation_b_871336.html ), my 4 years old Isabel and 6 years old Ethan need to be in bed by between 7.30pm and 8pm so that they can get 10 – 11 hours of sleep before waking up at 7am to go to school the next day.
Hhmmm…. I wonder how many parents in Malaysia are able to do that? Especially working moms with school-going children….
My kids are only in kindergarten now and it is already impossible to get them in bed by 8pm. In fact, 8pm is the time that we normally just reach home from Mondays till Wednesdays. With Vital Years class every Thursday evening and ballet class every Friday evening, we would only reach back home at around 8.30pm.
I try to get my kids to finish up their homework at the babysitter’s place so that they do not have to rush to finish it at night. But of course, there are times when they did not do their homework at the babysitter’s place and then they had to finish it at home before going to bed. With my kids’ getting easily distracted, it would take them quite a while to finish their homework. So by the time they go to bed, it would be almost 11pm. That’s 3 hours later than the recommended time!
At times when they do not have any homework, they would play with their toys, watch some TV, eat some snacks or do something else. Meanwhile, I would be busy doing some minor chores and getting myself showered. And very often, my kids would ask me to take some time off to play with them. At one time, I had to play Junior Monopoly every single night for 1 month and the next month, it was UNO every single night. At other times, it was just any other games or other requests to get me to spend some time with them.
So by the time I am done playing with them, done with the chores and got myself ready, it would be 10pm. Then I had to get them changed into their pyjamas, get them to brush their teeth, read them some books, say a short prayer with them and give them hugs and kisses. All that would be done by 10.30pm. If it goes beyond that stipulated time, you would be hearing me raising my voice and rushing them to move faster.
With Ethan starting primary school next year, we would be reaching home even later. I am estimating around 9pm as he would need to go back to the babysitter’s house for dinner after school and also get himself showered before going home. And with him attending a Chinese school, I am expecting him to come home with an incredible (and ridiculous) amount of homework. Perhaps we can only go to bed at 11.30pm? I certainly hope not!
So I am seriously wondering how many parents manage to get their kids to bed by 8pm every night. Or even 9pm. How do they do that?
And here is just a word of wisdom from Deepak Chopra and Rudolph Tanzi on the importance of sleep (just in case you think that having not enough sleep is no big deal):