August 16, 2014

Aaahhhh! Summer Time... Eating watermelons and ice-cream, swimming, riding bikes, walking barefoot, playing with the hose, staying up to almost midnight... Wait! Did I say it out loud? Yep, every year is the same old story... I tell myself, "This Summer is going to be different! No matter what, we're going to bed early every night!" But, getting my boys ready for bed early when the best time to ride their bikes in the Summer is 8:00pm, is like getting cows to dance the tango... it ain't happening...

Then comes August, and my husband and I think, "Finally!" But then, the first day of school approaches and we go, "Huh, we're in trouble!" All of a sudden we have school supply lists, meet the teachers day, parent-teacher meetings, soccer kickoffs, boys scouts meetings, volunteer for snacks, and birthday parties. By the time I see my calendar, it's so full of notes and reminders that I can barely see the dates anymore... I look at it and go, "Wait, what day is that again? I can't see it under all these '@' symbols, locations, and the list of snacks to bring!" 

Now, besides all these changes, the most difficult thing for us is returning to a decent bedtime routine. We usually, "theoretically," start waking the boys up a little earlier in the morning a few days before school starts. That way, we can gradually put them in bed earlier at night, about 9:30-10:00pm. Did I say "theoretically"? Yep, because many times we look at the clock and it says 11:00pm, and the boys are still chatting, annoying our poor cat and dogs, asking for water or chocolate milk, needing to go potty... It's that endless story... 

We do have reading time! My husband usually reads chapter books to our oldest son while our youngest reads easier books for beginner readers. Still... 


So, this year I thought about a better plan that I'm calling, "Operation Go to Bed!" Simple and easy. No uneccessary nagging needed. I'm planning on starting today. That's right! Today! Three days before school starts. If it works, we can stick to it, and, like experts say, after six months, the new routine will become automatic. *Hope* Alright, so here's my "Operation Go to Bed" plan. Ready? It's not complicated at all! Easy as 1, 2, 3! Wish me luck! 

OPERATION GO TO BED
Step 1: Announce out loud the operation to the boys
Step 2: Write down the rules on a big chart (with the boys of course... they need to practice some writing...) and post it in their bedroom
Step 3: Write down: 
  • ALL Electronics OFF- 6:55pm
  • Dinner - 7:00pm
  • Bath/Brush teeth -  7:45pm
  • Reading - 8:10pm 
  • Bed/Lights OFF - 8:45pm
Step 4: STICK TO IT
Step 5: If in case someone blows it one day, be cool and forgiving and start fresh the next day
Step 6: If it works, wake up mom, because you might be dreaming...

photo credit: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/lotzman/4272153318/">Lotzman Katzman</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">cc</a>

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