They don't have one. They never have. For those who do not know me personally I have a four year old and a 20 month old. And to this date they have never had a bedtime. Why? To be honest, I have always felt that it was just easier on my wife and I. I have tried to make my kids adapt to my schedule instead of the other way around. If I "put my kids down" at 8 o'clock on a Friday night they are going to be up bright and early at 6am Saturday morning. Which I prefer not to. Also since I don't stop seeing patients until 6pm and get home around 7, I want to see my kids for more than 30 minutes each night. I could also never stomach letting my kids "cry it out" and I am of the opinion that it is actually detrimental to the health of a developing brain. To read a past blog of mine of that click here.
I remember not too long ago, my wife and I had some friends over that had kids around the same ages as ours. It was either a Friday or Saturday night, and I kid you not it was like they ate and ran! It was past their kid's bedtimes. I thought, what an inconvenience. To be on your kid's schedule and not yours. I actually have a theory that this has played a big role in my kid's generally well behavior. We have always made them come to restaurants with us, events, you name it they went. We were actually forced in to this with our closest family halfway across the country. But I feel that forcing them to adapt to our routines, instead of theirs has benefited. This is also with every area of life, they have always ate the same foods as us. Most people are shocked when they find out how much my kids like broccoli or fish or whatever. They never really had any other choice, no chicken nuggets in this freezer. Eat it or starve!
With all that said, last night I noticed something very different about "bedtime". We do not watch a whole lot of TV in my house, for example my kids don't have a TV in their rooms. But there are a few select shows that I do enjoy, one for example is Netflix's House of Cards. It is Kevin Spacey at his finest. And usually the end of the night is when these shows are watched. To keep my kids out of the room that I am in, I will usually put something on for them in a different room. And they will usually fall asleep about half way through it. But last night was a little different because we couldn't find the remote. Literally looked everywhere. My youngest likes to hide it places. It was found this morning in a dollhouse. So no TV was watched last night. And guess what, my kids fell asleep about an hour earlier than usual. The TV has been keeping them up longer. I know the science behind TV, dopamine, and sleep interference. Watching TV is one of the things I recommend people with sleep issues to refrain from for at least 2 hours before attempting sleep. But sometimes until you see it in action, see it first hand, it doesn't hit home.
I don't claim to know all the answers as a parent, just some insightful observations from a full time dad who doubles as a part time doctor.
An open minded place for alternative thought and discussion.