Cheating the Sandman

Why don’t kids want to go to sleep?

I remember (and I’m sure you do, too) wanting to stay up past my bedtime to watch TV or play longer with my toys.  Much to the despair of my parents, I may have been tired and getting crankier by the minute, but there was no way I was going to go to bed and miss out on what was going on.  Like me, my younger cousin as a toddler fought off sleep as best as he could at naptime, but the moment he woke up from his nap, he wanted to pick up exactly where he left off.

Generation after generation, kids stubbornly refuse to go to bed when they should, testing their parents’ patience and goodwill.  One parent, Adam Mansbach, was even inspired to pen his frustration with his daughter at bedtime in a book called Go the F**k to Sleep.  It may appear like a short children’s book complete with illustrations, but make no mistake–with f-bombs running through the pages, it ain’t no book for kids.  Mansbach’s book has caused waves among parents who can relate all too well with what it’s sometimes like getting the kids to bed.

Perhaps kids have an innate sense that time is not something to be wasted.  It’s important to make the time to do something productive, to take in the world, to have fun, to annoy the heck out of the adults around them.  And don’t forget that kids are blessed with the boundless energy of youth, so they can go on until long after the cows come home.  They have a hard time learning that sleep is good for their little bodies and minds, not to mention the sanity of their parents.

I’m sure, though, that we adults can learn a valuable lesson from the kids–we need to make good use of our time and squeeze as much as we can into our days.  Sometimes it’s nice to stay up a little later to enjoy a good book we can’t put down, watch the latest DVD, or work on a hobby or art project…as long as the kids are asleep and not making us sleepy.  Now, if we can learn something from the kids, why can’t the kids learn something from us, especially when it comes to sleep?

Why, indeed.


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