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How strict are you with your children’s bedtimes in the holidays? I am happy to let them stay up late and sleep, provided they are happy and it fits in with what we are doing. We currently have in laws staying and I feel under pressure to keep strict bedtimes. What do you do?


Posted anonymously, 26th December 2015


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  • yeah it is easy to relax the rules in the holidays. why not just enjoy them being home with a little freedom! they have to go to bed on time the rest of the year.


  • We only have special late nights, other night are bedtime as usual. No matter if bedtime is 7:30 or 10:30 they are still up by 6am.


  • I suggest that if you are going to let them stay up later do it in stages, and later start them going to bed earlier as shool begins to get closer. With children from about 6 or 7 upwards you could let them stay up a little later sometimes on Friday / and or Saturday nights provided it works for you but normal time on Sunday night. It can be good quality Mum/daughter ; Dad/son time. This can be very important if one person is not the birth parent. Also if the parent works odd hours and time together is less than it would be in normal circumstances. Even just 1/2 hour extra can be beneficial. All adults/children are different to others so it may be “a case of trial and error” to find out what works for you. We find that the children tend to wake when the light penetrates the window coverings or they wake up because they are thirsty. There are clocks you can buy that you set so that the screen is blue with stars at bedtime and when it is an acceptable time to get up the screen changes to yellow like the sun. When they are old enough to take themsleves to the toilet, explain that they have to go back to bed until the clock changes to yellow. Once the child is old enough to read a clock/ know how the hands of it work and where they should be, that is another method you can use.


  • We have more relaxed bed times over holidays for nights before the kids don’t need to be up early for vacation care or other adventures. They are 4 and 9 years old. Normal bed time is 730pm because they normally have to get up at 530am for kindy/school. On holidays we relax that to around 830 for the 4 year old and the 9 year old will normally stay up until around 10pm if we let him. Do what you think is right. It doesn’t matter what your in laws think, they are your kids. Do what you feel is right by them.


  • We have very strict bedtime with all the kids but being the end of first school year for my eldest, we have been less strict.


  • Do what works for you and your family :)


  • Also, gradually start getting back to the usual bedtime routine before school starts again. In fact get back to all routines at this time. It does help. :)


  • During holidays i dont mind relaxing bedtime for my eldest to stay up if we’re having a bbq or watch a movie. (2 yr old twins go the usual time or pay for it next day!) but even with my eldest i notice if she’s gone to bed layer than usual shes tired and cranky the next day. Better for all our sanity if she’s on a usual nedtime. And at 6 she sometimes puts herself to bed even when ive said she can stay a bit later. I know im lucky – but i think she knows too that a day of being cranky and bad behaviour isnt good for her or us!


  • School holidays are relaxed , but a week or so I prewarn them holidays will be over so strict rules will start again . Maybe make it a bit earlier if you think it will be harder so I think it depends how compliant the kids are . Good luck


  • More relaxed but then they also have a movie quiet time at lunch which is a great rest time


  • Holiday times are more relaxed and bedtimes should be a bit more relaxed.


  • We are far more relaxed about bedtime during the holidays. Sleep-ins are what holidays are all about.


  • Yes we always do in the holidays however if they have been acting up and being cranky then we make sure they have an early night.


  • Yes we relax our bedtimes but after a few days we find we need to make them go to bed earlier as they are clearly not getting enough sleep!


  • If there is no need for my kids to be up early the next morning then I let them stay up a little. Perhaps an extra hour but it depends on them. Most of the time they are too tired to stay up beyond they’re bedtime.


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