Or Maybe Buy Him a Flashlight?

Pop quiz, hotshot.

You’ve got an eight-year old son who won’t go to bed for love or money. Every night you battle with him about putting down his book (currently Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians series) and getting some sleep. He wants to read until after 11. He’s getting harder and harder to wake in the morning.

What do you do?

(a) Take the lightbulb out of his reading lamp, hoping this encourages him to go to bed when he’s supposed to;

(b) Invest in a good-quality book light. If he’s not going to stop, at least make sure he’s not straining his eyes;

(c) Leave him alone. Be grateful you have a son who loves to read.

What would you do?



10 thoughts on “Or Maybe Buy Him a Flashlight?

  1. If I were your son, it’s c).
    Thank you for bringing me back to memory lane. When I was his age I pretended I was asleep each time my Dad checked in my room and when the moment he left I read my book again. Time to reap what I sow — I have a son who can’t put down his books until I have to kill the light. lol

    Glad though that he’s a book reader 🙂

  2. I am in the exact same situation you describe. I have decided to leave him alone and let him read. The way I see it is, at least he is reading and I am delighted about that. Also, I believe he will fall asleep when he is tired. I don’t think he can keep this up as time goes by because his body needs to sleep. So I have chosen not to make this a battle between him and I. (Also because knowing him, if I make a big deal about it, he will persist even more).

  3. I also would let him be and maybe see if he can’t get a nap in elsewhere, maybe on a weekend or afternoon. I was just like that at that age (and still will stay up till dawn just to finish a book I love). No harm, no foul and at least he’s laying in bed resying while he reads. A good quality book like is a great idea, you don’t want him to hurt his eyes.

  4. I have to say the funniest bit when we catch him reading late is how he giggles while triumphantly raising and lowering his book over his head. Yes, at least he loves books. I do wish he’d start reading earlier in the evening – he does most of his reading at night before going to sleep.

  5. I don’t know what I’d do. But when I got glasses when I was 10, I was sure it was from reading with what light came in from the hallway after my parents turned my light off! (An optometrist has examined my 4-year-old’s eyes and tells me she will need glasses by 11 or 12, so I guess all I did, if anything, was hasten along a genetic inevitability.)

  6. My 8.y.o. is also in the same scenario as your boy. If I stopped him, he rather sneak and read in the dark. We don’t want that. So, this term, I scheduled lot of physical activities from PE to Swimming to “Out of this world” (where they get to jump and climb on pumped-up structure,etc…to burn his energy). We still always allow story before bed time, so by 8pm, light will be out, regardless. It works so far. 🙂 Hope this helps. Good luck.

  7. I used to let Griffin read and read and read when he asked for time for “one more chapter” because I was so delighted that he loved reading so much. Then I read about the effects of sleep deprivation on children and realized that whereas I thought he was filling his brain up with books, he was actually being cheated of the sleep that he needed to make all of his day’s learning sink in and stay put. Now, it’s a firm lights out at 9, and he gets into bed earlier so that he has more time to read.

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