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When Is Staying Up Late NOT Worth It?

90% of the time, I'm a stickler for bedtimes. My kids have always needed more sleep than the average child-bear, and it doesn't usually bode well for anyone if we push them too late.

Just last weekend, we were watching Moana for the first time. I was as into it as the kids were, so we let them stay up a little later. The boys (6.5 & 2.5) usually go to bed at 7, and Kina (4.5) goes to bed between 7:30-8 (she's my longest napper by far, and often naps until 5 or 5:30). Earlier that day, we'd attended a Holi celebration, and it took a while after to get everyone bathed and de-colored and ready for naps. So the younger ones ended up sleeping until 6pm that day. So we figured, hey, they napped late, so we'll be fine. We put toone to bed at 7:30, and let the older kids stay up until 8:30 to finish the movie. So the younger ones each went to bed about half an hour later than usual.

The next day, they were a disaster. They were whiny and crabby and so much squirrelier than usual at church. For our kids, if they're over tired, they don't eat well, which just exacerbates the situation. All for half an hour late!

I should note that Nat actually was able to hold it together. But at 6.5, it's just been within the last 6 months that he's able to do that - able to recognize that he's tired and it's making him grumpier than usual. That's not to say he wasn't still irritable, because he was. But if he lashed out or yelled or something, he was able to reign himself in after and hold it together, while the younger ones just weren't able to control their emotions.

So. My kids need a lot of sleep, and it's generally not worth it to skip naps or push bedtime. But sometimes it is. :)

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