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When I was little my parents let me choose one night a week to stay up an extra half-hour. I cannot tell you how crazy-special this was to me at the time, especially in the summer when I felt like the sun hadn't even gone down before I was already tucked in. Normally, I chose Friday nights, because we would watch must-see-tv together as a family and I would be able to sleep in on Saturday morning.

Now that I am a parent, I realize that I am not as nice as they were.

I am really strict about my son's bedtime and it really bothers me when he goes to bed late (especially if the lateness is caused by him dragging out his evening routine). I've often wondered if I should take a more casual stance around this, especially as we approach the summer months and he'll be off school.

But then I remembered what a grumpy little bear he can be in the morning when he hasn't had enough sleep. And I remembered that I have to wake him up for camp still, so he can't sleep in and get up according to his own clock. And then I read this study reinforcing the concept that strictness about bedtimes (not gentle encouragement, but actual rules about times) are the best to ensure little ones get enough sleep.

So, I had my son read the study, too. He made a face at me after reading it, but he also gave me a hug. Will this help later on when he is told that it is bedtime? I have no idea, but he has to go to sleep on time anyway.

Do you let your children stay up later on non-school nights? Tell me about it in the comments.

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