What was bedtime like when you were growing up? Were your parents strict in enforcing bedtimes? Were you a difficult one to get to bed? Did your parents share stories about getting you to sleep when you were a baby? When did your parents turn bedtime over to you? Were there any special rituals/routines a parent did - books, singing a special song, etc.? Nightlights, music, special doll/blanket or other things? Did you have your own bed or did you share with a sibling? Did you have nighttime fears and bad dreams? How did you handle them? Did you ever walk or talk in your sleep? Feel free to also share any routines you have done with your kids.
I don't like bedtime! Never have liked it; never will. I don't like to get up in the morning either. That doesn't bode well for me, does it? I guess I'll never be health, wealthy, or wise, according to Ben Franklin. I am finding, though, that the older I get, the earlier I get tired and have to go to bed!
I never had a set bedtime when I was little. I remember one year, I think when I was in first grade, setting a bedtime for myself of 8:00. It didn't take long for that to go by the wayside! I'm not sure what time my parents put me to bed as a small girl, but I would imagine it was somewhere around 9:00. Our one special ritual was for me to kiss my mama goodnight, at which time I would say, "I love Mama & Daddy," and she would respond, "Mama & Daddy love you too!" Now, that was simple, usually done in the living room where Mama was reading, but we did that till she died when I was 16.
I had my own bed till I got married, partly because I didn't have any siblings till I was 17! I was a scaredy cat at night. I didn't have a nightlight, so I was afraid of everything . . . something under the bed (never quite sure what), something in my closet, the wind blowing tree branches which were shadows on my wall. If anyone got up during the night, I was terrified that it was actually someone breaking in. I remember one particular night when my mom got up to get something to eat and I happened to wake up. She went into the kitchen, turned on the lights, made and ate a sandwich, put everything away and turned off the lights . . . and the entire time I lay frozen in my bed, sure that it was a burglar. Until I saw Mama walk past my door on her way back to bed. When I became aware of tornadoes, I was petrified if a storm came up during the night. So yes. I was afraid of anything and everything when it was dark. I didn't have nightmares or walk in my sleep, though.
With our children, I started out putting them to bed whenever. If they were still going strong at 10:30, I let them stay up till 10:30. Then I met a new friend when my children were about 5, 3, and 1. To this day, my oldest says Mrs. V ruined his life! ;) One day she said to me, "Susan, you should put those kids to bed by 7:30 so you and Wes can have some time together." What a concept! I tried it and never looked back! ;) Hence the idea that Sue ruined my son's life. They had set bedtimes over the years until they were in their teens. Now my boys sleep whenever they get a chance - they're college students - and our daughter goes to bed and gets up pretty much at her own will. We're a pretty laid-back family.