Bedtime use to be between 9-9:30p, but then I realized that when I’d go into their rooms around 11p to check on them, they [Cameron and Lexie] would still be woke, looking at the ceiling and walls. I’d asked them why they were still up, and the response was clearly the most obvious: “I’m not tired”.
So I decided to let them stay up until 10, and they’d actually fall asleep by 10:30p. It’s like magic. They get up every morning around 6-6:30a and are ready to leave for school within the hour.
The reason why I’m saying this is because as parents, somehow we think we know everything about our children. When in fact, we don’t. We know that we want them in bed at a certain time, but this is due to the fact that they need to be bright-eyed and bushy tailed for class lectures and assignments, so that the good grades come to them. We can assess when they might be tired and cranky, but we don’t know things just because we are parents. We make assessments. We give instructions. We aren’t all-knowing, we learn as we go.
I never gave or made my kids take naps. Well, when Cameron was probably two or three, and he’s the oldest, I stopped trying to make him take a nap. I’d look at the clock and it’d say 2:15p or something early like that. I’d decide that, “Oh it’s time for a nap.” I’d take him in the room make him lay down, even though he wasn’t tired. He’d be fussing not because he was tired, but because I was trying to make him sleep. Well forty-five minutes later, he’d given up and gone to sleep.
Now, that he’s sleep, I’d say to myself, I can now have a short while to myself. No sooner than when I’d leave the room, he’d be up running around like we were never in his room to begin with. Seriously, ten minutes after leaving his room, he was up. It would make me mad that I’d wasted nearly an hour trying to make him go to sleep, because I decided he was tired. That’s crazy. So because of that one instance nearly fourteen years ago, I have never been so bold as to make them take naps.
But now the beautiful thing about it this, even to this day, they’ll take a nap when they get ready to, and they’ll sleep one or two hours and be functional.
I don’t think it’s worth the time trying to make two, three, and four year olds take naps, unless they’re clearly cranky. I noticed that as they get older like seven, eight, and nine, etc….they’ll lay down all by themselves.
I know things in terms of learning and growing, parenting, etc. But I don’t know when another human being should take a nap.