Inquiring Minds: I Need Answers!!!

I am, in a word, nosy.  

It's why I love blogs so much.  I get a glimpse into someone else's world.  It's also why I loved baby-sitting as a teenager and nannying as an adult. I love the glimpse it gave me into other people's lives. In lieu of hanging out in your yard and watching your family through the living room window (that got creepy real quick, didn't it?) I want to ask you some questions.  I want to pick your brains people!


What time do you (the grown up) go to bed?

What time do your kids go to bed?

What does your children's bedtime routine look like?

How do you go to sleep?  What's your routine?  How do you make yourself go to bed?  (Like instead of watching a fifth episode of Worst Cooks in America...)

Do you pay your kids allowance?
If so, what's your system and how much do they get at each age?

What chores do your kids do?
At what age did they start doing those chores?

What consequences do you find work best for your kids?
(ie timeouts? writing sentences? losing toys/privileges?)

What do you find works with your kids to encourage siblings getting along?

And lastly,

What advice would you offer to new mom/mom to a new baby?
What lessons did you learn after giving birth/bringing home baby that you wish you'd known then?


Please, please, please, leave me a comment.  Answer one or all of these and help me explore some different ways of doing things.  If it feels too personal, or your answer gets too long, email (rcunningham18@hotmail.com) or message me!  These questions (especially the ones about bedtime) have been stewing in my brain for months and I'm dying to know what works for you all!

Thank you in advance!



Nichole Hanna said...

Our bed time is 8 or 8:30. We turn the tv off at 7, take baths, get in our jammies, brush our teeth, read stories, read scriptures of some kind (either children's scriptures or a book about prayer or the holy ghost) say prayers then turn out the lights and say good night. Sometimes we have to go back in and turn off the lights again but foe the most part they go to sleep.

Tania Johnson said...

1. We go to bed around 10:00. If I have had a crazy busy day, sometimes it is earlier.
2. Our young kids go down around 8:30 and our older kids closer to 10:00. Younger meaning 8 and younger. Older meaning teenagers
3. Our routine is bath,pajamas, bedtime snack, brush teeth, prayers, books, turn on CD player, turn out the lights
4. My routine, pajamas, bathroom freshen up time, go to bed
5. We used to pay 25 cents per job for the younger kids and $1 per job for the older kids. But now I just pay a lump sum for the whole week.
6. By age three, I have had the kids help me pick up toys, help make bed, help put laundry in the hamper from the dryer.
By age 5 they can start to set the table. My girls love to put on their swimsuits to help clean the bath tub with a nontoxic cleaner
By age 8, I can trust them a little more to sweep, vacuum, fold towels, load and unload dishes, wipe off the table and countertops
By age 12, help me with babysitting, taking trash to the curb, washing and drying certain dishes by hand.
Note: My children are not servants. I do not expect them to do all of these things. But having 6 children, if I see something that needs to be done, I know they can handle any of these chores at any given time.
7: Consequences: Little: Uh oh time works until about age 4 or maybe 5. They have lost toys. I like to keep their lost toys in a box in the garage. They will eventually get them back. Sometimes they have to earn them back. Sometimes they are gone for a week, sometimes a few months. They have lost privileges like not being able to go to the zoo, or the park like we had planned, or not being able to get dessert if they only take two bites of their dinner.
8. We all like to watch movies together. If they can't get along during the movie, someone has to go to their room. If it is when they are in the car, we pull over for 1-2 minutes until we are in our happy zone again. If they fight over a toy, the toy goes away for an hour or so. With computer time, wii time, everyone has a set amount of time. We use Time's Up kids. The computer gives them a warning with how much time is left, then automatically shuts down. The parents set the time allowed for each child's account.
9: New mom advice: Document all the milestones, take pictures. Your twins are old enough to do a few chores. To avoid burnout, start with just a few easy ones, gradually add a chore here and there. We used a chore chart for a while.It was awesome. But we stopped. I can't remember why. Also meal planning, It helps! Everyone gets to choose in advance. It saves on the budget. No surprises.
Good luck.
P.S. There is a book called A Mother's Rule of Life. It is about a homeschooling mom of 4 children. She is awesome.

Tania Johnson said...


Holly Parlier said...

I go to bed at 11ish when David's home, and on the nights he works, whenever all the kids are asleep, so usually 9ish. Katherine goes to bed at 7 and the boys do too - unless David is working and then it's whenever I get K to bed. More like 8. We read three picture books to k and then bounce her or lay with her until she's asleep. With the boys, we pray and then read aloud from a chapter book for about 30-60 minutes. I don't really make myself go to bed, but if its 11:30, I know I need to go or I'll be dragging the next day. We don't do an allowance (not opposed to it, just haven't thought much about it). Chorewise, we have no set system. They just do what we ask. I assign each of the boys a bedroom to clean each day and they have to feed the animals. Wyatt can change over the laundry. They all can help me spray stains on the laundry and can put away their laundry (but I don't expect it to be neat). They obviously pick up their toys, and totally understand that I can and will make them pick up things they didn't even play with (the horror!). I've been working on teaching them exactly how I like the bathroom cleaned too. For consequences, I am totally doing the sentences after a great blogger wrote about that ;). I have no idea how to make siblings get along, which is clearly shown between my two boys. I don't really have any new mom advice. I always tell my first time mom friends to expect it to be almost impossible for the first week and super hard for the first six weeks. I know that I am always an emotional mess, but I was less so this time (I read that vitamin d and fish oil help with this, and was sure to take both). I know that I always feel a deep deep love for Baby and that my love for my older children is a bit different. I used to feel so guilty, but it happens each time and I think it's a natural instinct thing for Baby's protection. And just a practical hint, buy Afterease on amazon if you have bad after birth cramping. Such a difference this time! Are you going to share your answers Shelly?!

Katie said...

1. I'm a night owl. I don't go to bed until late... like 11 p.m. or midnight late. It usually catches up to me after a week or two and I'm snoring on the couch at 9 p.m., but my hubby and I tend to stay up late to finish up email, watch some recorded episodes of our favorite shows, talk about the day and future plans, etc.

2. My boy goes to bed between 9-9:30 p.m. He wakes up to get ready for school at 7:30 a.m.

3. Bedtime routine is pretty simple. Electronics are turned off after dinner, unless we have a scheduled Skype/FaceTime session with family or friends back in the States (tough to stay in touch living overseas). After homework is finished and checked, we play a card or board game together. Around 8:30 p.m., we head upstairs for a shower, get pajamas on, brush teeth, etc. My son can read quietly in bed for 20-30 minutes, depending on how quickly he was able to get himself ready. Between 9-9:15 p.m., lights are turned out and we talk quietly to him for a few minutes. Then kisses, hugs, and bedroom door is closed.

4. I usually read for a while before going to sleep. We don't have a TV in our room as we both find it too distracting.

5. We don't pay an allowance and haven't ever thought about it. Money isn't terribly important to my son, so that won't convince him to do his chores.

6. He keeps his room clean (usually) and puts his toys away. He helps set and clear the table for meals, helps put dishes in the dishwasher, and takes the trash and recycling out to the street. He also vacuums and sometimes help dust. He has started asking to help me cook and I'm going to take some time to teach him how to do his laundry, as well as how to start cleaning bathrooms. He's almost nine and I know he's perfectly capable of doing more around the house. I just have to show him how and set him loose.

7. My son is a perfectionist and HATES being disciplined, so he's a pretty easy guy when it comes to consequences. I usually send him to his room to think about what he's done (and it gives me time to consider what to do). Then we discuss what happened, he faces the repercussions, and that's that.

8. I have an only child, which has its own plusses and minuses. The closest "sibling" he has is his older cousin, who is also an only child, and those two often fight like brothers. So we let them work it out so they learn that art of cooperation.

9. For new moms, I would tell them you are absolutely allowed to be overwhelmed. It's okay to be scared, to not know what to do, to be happy and sad and every other emotion you can feel all at the same time. I would also tell them to throw away all of the parenting and medical books that are supposed to "teach" you how to be a better mother and let instinct be your guide. Your child is uniquely your child. With time, you'll learn their cues and know them inside and out.

Tabitha Studer said...

The kids go up to their room between 8-8:30 (unless its basketball season and we were at a game and then it's more like fall asleep in the car ride home around 9-9:30p). They get a story or two and then B or I stay in the room with them until they fall asleep (like the opposite of all parenting advice ever). Sometimes I real aloud to them from my own book, sometimes we fall asleep too and wake up at like 2am to go crash in our own bed. Normally, the grown ups go to bed between 10:30-11p, but that's not every night. sometimes it's earlier because we're exhuasted and sometimes its later because we get trapped in netflix. HAH.

There's a cool pin on pinterest that lays out how old kids are when they can handle certain chores and I've found that my kids pretty much follow along with that in terms of abilities (feeding pets, emptying the dishwasher, setting the table, vacumming, etc). We don't give allowance and our family motto currently is that we all have to help with chores because 'we are all in this family and live in this house and we have to work together' but the kids also have zero need for money, so it's not a big issue for them. They have Save/Give/Spend piggy banks (pinterest again!) and if they get money from grandparents or something, they get to put the money in there and then use that for special stuff.

there's a space in the dining room that is designated 'time out'. We do A LOT of positive consequences and talk, like "Wow, great job cleaning up Gemma!" or "We get to go to visit our friends because we have kids who listen and try their best" We talk like that in front of all three, and 9 times out of 10 if we 'praise' Gemma for her good behavior, Grey immediately makes a better choice and says, "What about me?!" Granted, they're still super young and this still works. I can see a change though in Grey as he gets older that we give him less and less consequences because he's starting to understand now the kinds of behavior we expect in various situations. so, yay.

When they argue (nonstop, right?) I give it a long time until I intervene, if at all. We talk a lot about finding solutions to problems and I hear them compromising to find solutions when they fight over toys and movie choices. They also get praised when they show kindness and generosity to their siblings. When someone cries because of their sibling the offender knows they are to say, "I'm sorry. How can I fix it" and the choices for the sad sibling are to receive a hug, a high five, or hear a joke. but it can be other things too like get some space.

This tiny baby will soon be even a smidge bigger than this teeny tiny new person. Cereal for dinner it is again! soak up in that sweet baby and laugh about the crazy sleepless zombie state, and let the whole family get in on loving up on that tiny new family member This very sleepy, exhausting, and overwhelming few weeks is the most temporary and beautiful time ever. To this day, I think back lovingly and longingly on those first few weeks with each newborn (with Grey that moment that they told us we could leave the hospital and B and I were like, "What?! you're just going to let us leave!" With Gem, it was just her and me in the hospital together when I got sick after her birth and being awake, just the two of us in our own little world, and with Violet - she and I slept in the living room for the first three week so we wouldn't disturb anyone else during nighttime feedings and just staring at her face while I Love Lucy reruns played on tv. It's so tiring but in hindsight it's like a magical weird bubble of time that is so very very short.)

ps. I can't stop laughing at your writing 'that got creepy quick" HAHAHAH. love you and your curious mind. you're a great momma!!

Kristina said...

I go to bed around 10:00 or 10:30. Usually watch a couple of shows or read before bed. The boys' bed time has always been 7:30. They complain that friends have later bedtimes but they are always asleep after about 5 minutes!

The boys both have chore charts and start with $10 a week. They have to do all of their chores to earn the full amount $1.00 deductions for whining, attitude, or not completing a task. When they were younger we did stickers. Now the boys do things like: unload the dishwasher, sweep, vacuum, clean their bathroom, take the garbage out, feed the dogs, etc.

Consequences are fines, lost privileges like screen time, or having to do an extra chores. I still am working on the sibling fighting. Sometimes they both take breaks in their rooms to cool off.

When it comes to consequences our family rule has always been, "parents have to win". This is more when they were younger and would tantrum...I have turned around in more than one store due to bad behavior and have had to make some seriously "mean" decisions that I knew would mean the boys would be better for it.

As for little miss Carly...sleep, coffee, and structure your schedule!!!

Bad Rebecca said...

I'm nosy, too! I always look in windows when I go for walks! I also look to see what food people at other tables have ordered when we go out to eat... okay, now I should stop...

I usually go to bed around 9 because I am exhausted. I wake up somewhere in the 6-6:30 range.

The one-year-old goes to bed at 7 and the five-year-old goes to bed at 8 (then the one-year-old sleeps until almost 8 a.m. while the five-year-old wakes up around 6-7). Ellie has reading time or quiet play in that hour between her bedtime and Vera's.

No allowance yet, and Ellie's chores are mostly about picking up her toys. We try not to use negative consequences, but when we do it involves losing screen time while the baby naps or the taking away of a certain toy. We resort to bribery way too often!

Although you are already more of a parenting pro than I am and don't need my advice, it would be this: every baby comes out with their own personality and their own set of needs. What worked well for other children in your family might now work for this baby, and your mama intuition always knows best! Screw the experts-- YOU are the expert on your baby :)

Ashley said...

What time do you (the grown up) go to bed? : usually 10:30, read until 11:00-11:30ish

What time do your kids go to bed?: on a good night, 8:30

What does your children's bedtime routine look like? Bath at 7:15-7:45ish, mommy cuddles with nakey babies, books/home reading for the oldest, milk for both, and then bed by 8:30

How do you go to sleep? What's your routine? How do you make yourself go to bed? (Like instead of watching a fifth episode of Worst Cooks in America...): I always have to read before bed, no matter what time I go to bed.

Do you pay your kids allowance? Not monetarily.
If so, what's your system and how much do they get at each age? Our oldest (6) earns glass rocks for doing his chores, being nice to his brother, doing things without asking, and in general being good. Once the jar is full ( I think there's about 100-150ish rocks) he gets to go to the store and spend about $15 on his choice of item. Usually pokemon cards ;)

What chores do your kids do? Clean room once a week, empty dishwasher after school, help with saturday clean up, bringing the garbage can in after garbage day, bringing his dirty laundry to the laundry room, helping with his 2.5year old brother.
At what age did they start doing those chores? slowly started around 3 yrs old, seriously started daily chores at 5

What consequences do you find work best for your kids? taking away privileges for sure at this age. Used to be forced cuddle time, which calmed both mommy and boy down.
(ie timeouts? writing sentences? losing toys/privileges?)

What do you find works with your kids to encourage siblings getting along? Honestly, my boys get along without me having to encourage them. They are 4 years apart, so it's not too hard.

And lastly,

What advice would you offer to new mom/mom to a new baby? Don't listen to advice! lol. no one has written a book about your child specifically, so no one knows better than you. Don't listen to mommy wars; do what works for your family
What lessons did you learn after giving birth/bringing home baby that you wish you'd known then? relax!!!! I was up and going 3 days fter both births, and now I wish I had taken more time to let other people take care of me :)