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Back To School: Shifting Sleep

In our family, one of the toughest tasks my wife and I face during the “Back To School” transition is trying to shift the kids’ sleep schedule.

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After a summer of staying up too late swimming, telling stories at sleepovers, and getting sugared up on ice cream, the party is officially over! It’s 100% our fault. During the summer, we pretty much adopt an “anything goes” attitude when it comes to bedtime. The kids think they’re getting away with staying up late, but it’s actually the adults that are enjoying a moment of uninterrupted conversation as the kids play the night away.

Now, we are paying the piper. We’ve got some sleepy kids when those alarm clocks go off in the morning, waking up to the sound of Daddy’s voice on the radio. Last week, their first week of school, we tried our hardest to get them to bed early, but there always seemed to be an obstacle. The biggest problem is the weather. It’s been beautiful, making it harder to come inside and start dinner. Instead, we work on the yard while the kids play outside. We justify it in our minds saying, “Oh, this will tire them out for bed.” We end up staying outside too late, which means we’re starting to cook dinner too late, which pushes back the bathtimes and inevitably pushes the bedtimes later than we had planned. It’s a pattern that’s hard to break.

We have a renewed commitment to our bedtime quest this week. We’ve realized that in order to get the kids to bed at a reasonable time, we must make it our #1 top priority. To have the kids be in bed by 7:30, we need to eat no later than 6:00. Which means we need to be making dinner no later than 5:00. Those lazy summer nights at the Rock house are over, my friends. Like it or not, it’s time to turn the page to Fall.

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