Why I Ended Bedtime in My Home During Quarantine

Photo Credit: Dragana Gordic/Shutterstock

I’m a pretty strict parent, so my kids have always had an earlier bedtime compared to their peers. Once the pandemic hit and my kids were quarantined, I tried to continue to implement this bedtime, but quickly loosened up on this rule once I realized how much those extra hours in the evenings would make a difference for my children. Now my preteens have a later bedtime than they had before this pandemic hit, and I’m so glad that I chose not to stick to my strict bedtime policy.

With two tweens who have not had any in-person contact with friends since mid-March when schools closed, I allowed them to have a later bedtime so that they could still get that friend time they really need. They play video games together and have video calls with their friends and talk about how things are going, music, sports, and other typical teenage boy topics. Obviously, virtual interactions aren’t an exact replica of in-person time together, but it’s a great way to still stay in contact with their friends when they can’t physically be together for health reasons.

Virtual interactions aren’t an exact replica of in-person time together, but it’s a great way to still stay in contact with their friends when they can’t physically be together.

Along with keeping in contact with their school friends, I have seen my oldest son’s friendship with his cousin blossom. Most of our family lives about an hour away, so and the cousins would only see each other every couple of months. They didn’t have nearly as much time to connect online as they do now. My son and his cousin were both so busy with school, sports, and other activities that they often weren’t online at the same times. But now they are both home almost all the time, so those things don’t get in the way of them spending time together anymore. Hearing them laugh together in the late hours of the night makes my heart happy. Family is so important, and I love that he is getting closer to his cousin during this time.

Now summer is over and my kids are back in school, but they are still doing e-learning from home. My boys wish that they could see their friends in person, but I don’t think they feel like they are missing that social aspect completely because they still are interacting with their buddies every day, just in a different format. With school starting, they won’t stay up quite as late on weeknights as they have been, but I will still give them that extra time in the evenings to hang out virtually with their friends so they can keep some sense of normalcy during this uncertain time we are living in.

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