Summer Schedule

As I write this, it’s almost 10:00 a.m.  Elsewhere in my house are three sleeping children, none of whom went to bed before midnight, and none of whom will make an appearance before noon.

I have the privilege of being home all summer, and this stay-up-late-sleep-forever schedule can drive me nuts.  Especially if I want to go out and do something fun.  If I worked during the summer and knew my kids were home sleeping half the day away, it would still drive me nuts.  Shouldn’t they get up and do something productive?

When I confronted my children with this question a few years ago, they came back with a question of their own:  “Why?”  I sputtered a little over a reasonable answer, and the questioning continued:  “Why should we get up unless we have to go to work?  What difference does it make if we sleep past noon?”

The best answer I could think of was, “Because by the time you get up it’s too late to do anything fun!”  To which I received the perfectly logical reply, “Just tell us the night before if you want to go somewhere, and we’ll be sure to get up.”  I couldn’t come up with a good argument to that.

When they were younger (middle school age), I did have a rule that in order to play any video or computer games, they had to be out of bed by 10:00 (they managed to stretch this to 10:30).  This plan was only partly successful:  yes, they would get up, but then they’d sit groggily on the couch, staring at whatever was on TV (seems like we watched a lot of “How It’s Made” during those summers).

I finally agreed that as long as their chores were done whenever they got up, I would leave them alone unless there was a good reason for them to be out of bed.

Besides, once my husband leaves for work, I have the whole (quiet) house to myself!


  1. Funny…it is a quarter of eleven, and I haven’t seen my kids this morning, either:) One went to bed at ten, the other around midnight. Here in about two weeks we will have to start working back toward that horrible 5:30 am alarm, but I figure it is their vacation, and like you say, so long as their chores are done by 4pm it’s all good. Not like I can go anywhere fun at the moment anyway :/

  2. Sue, you have given us something to really think about. You have hit on the difference between is and should, the struggle between what we think should be done because…because…because What will people think!?!?…and is, that is the way it is, that is the way kids are…accept it.

    The shoulds are responsibilities that have to do with someone’s well-being. The is pertains to our uniqueness. I think learning the difference is a life-long lesson.

    Thank you, as always, for your wise words, for your good perspective on living with kids.

  3. Funny… there is not much sleeping in at my house. Even on vacation the kids, my husband and myself, it was like an endurance race. We were up at 615, breakfast at 7 and out the door, returning well after 10p every night. No wonder I am always exhausted. And by the way I come home from working night shift, get home at 730-8 and we are up and out. No complaining about loss of sleep in my house. But…. I do appreciate the down days. Unfortunately, the seem to follow with “I’m bored”. There has to ba a happy medium.

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