Zacharie had his first successful raise negotiation this morning.

As we milled about the kitchen getting ready for school. he asked why his bedtime is so early, offering that it should be moved to 9p.

For as long as I can remember, 8 is when we shut down the boys. Last spring, during soccer, some practices went to 830 and it had me start wondering if I was off the mark just a little bit.

Over the summer we massaged bedtimes a little for the days they didn’t have a daycamp to rush out to. Here’s the thing though: no matter what time my kids go to bed, their bodies still nudge them out of their rooms by 7a.

They just don’t sleep in.

There were nights this summer, when I’d usher the boys to bed by 830, inviting them to read for a few minutes before lights out. Charlie, at 7, was done in a few minutes. Zacharie, on the other hand, would sometimes come downstairs after 10 to apologize that he was still up – his book was just too good to stop reading.

Hard to get upset with that.

Still, the bedtime routine of 8ish remained. I’ll admit, it’s mostly so that I can get some free time in to power through Suits, or Narcos, or Ozark without little ears and eyes nearby. And I can’t stay up much past 10, so the sooner they get to bed, the more I can binge.

THE BACK TO SCHOOL BED TIME CHART

But Zacharie wants a move to 9, and after a little thinking this morning, my gut said we had perhaps hung on to the 8ish thing a little too long.

He’s 10. He’s in Grade 5. His soccer practices will likely be later this year.

So I offered him an “830 in bed, and lights out by 9” option with the promise we will look at how it goes through the fall and maybe adjust it further.

Then I saw this Bed Time Chart For Kids posted to social media and realized I was about to hit the bullseye.

It’s not just about what time your kids go to bed, it’s about what time they wake up. A 10 yr old needs about 10 hours of sleep each night, other ages need more or less, and that’ show the chart was built.

kids bedtime chart based on age

We can walk to school, so our boys have a 7a wake up call just a few minutes before I head out the door. So, according to the chart, not only was 10 yr old Zacharie right to ask for 9p, but I could stretch out 7 yr old Charlie a few more minutes too.

I think parents should parent according to their own heart, but I’ll admit there’s a certain satisfaction when you see some random graphic on the internet that confirms your gut instinct to be on track.

This chart isn’t completely random, it’s from a few years ago and was created by Wilson Elementary School in Kenosha, WI. While some parents immediately rebelled saying “there is NO WAY IN HELL I could meet this finger-wagging spreadsheet,” I looked at it with quiet confidence.

A random chart on the internet just said I was parenting properly and, in 2017, that stands for something.


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