Talking About Parenting: Ah, the sound of silence

Published 7:14 am Wednesday, March 7, 2018

By Chris Kovatch

As I sit down to write this week’s column I am encountering something quite uncommon in our house.


Generally, when things are quiet those are the times I should be most concerned.

At the moment the kids, sans Rosie, are all sitting quietly in the living room watching an episode of Spider Man. I know that a struggle lies ahead of me. The two words that will send my house into chaos – Bed time.

As I have shared before, I have no shame in getting the kids in bed earlier as the evenings get darker earlier.

I classify that as a perk of time change in the Fall and definitely use it to my advantage.

However, most nights present a struggle like no other. I often wonder why it is so hard for them to go to bed. These days I jump at the opportunity to get a full night’s sleep.

My children have energy that never seems to run out. Strike that. It does run out in one scenario-when I tell them it is time to pick up.

Bedtimes are important for them. However they don’t seem to get that. Each of the kids have different needs. Summer and Rosie operate best on 10 plus hours of sleep. Needless to say, they don’t get that much sleep too often. Thayer can operate on less, but when he starts acting goofy it is time to head to bed. When Stryker is ready he comes to you and asks you to scratch his back. Jackson seems to operate on little to no sleep at all.

I do my best to ensure that there is consistency each night, especially during the school year. I want them to operate at their best.

But some nights, I question should is it even worth the struggle. Some nights it is best to not fight over 15 to 30 minutes. It isn’t worth the anger and sometimes those few extra minutes allow for one on one time to talk about the days’ events or address any issues that they are having.

In the end, bed times are very important in our house, but allowing a bit of flexibility is ok too.

Stressing the importance of adhering to rules is paramount. Understanding and abiding by boundaries is necessary as kids grow up.

But we know as adults sometimes guidelines allow for some flexibility too and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

How often and to what degree we allow for flexibility is the key. It’s all about moderation.