OK I have 7 high school kids. They are all involved in activities after school. Sometimes they don't get in from high school football games until midnight or later. Especially away games. The JROTC goes to competitions and leave as early as 4 am. Away wrestling matches get home around 11 pm and even have Saturday matches when they leave at 6 am. Competition Cheer leading has competitions on Saturday and Band also has festivals where they leave at 6 am on Sat. and return at 2 am. So I said all that to say I'm OK (not great) with this. If they are at a school function and don't have any control over what time the event ends then I understand. However activities like going to a friends house, going to play games with friends from church, or just hanging out they have control over. Over the summer the four teenage boys went to a teenage get together with other church teens. It wasn't so bad waiting up for them during summer because our schedule is a little different and less strict. During the school year I'm really strict about bedtime. Primary (pre k-2nd) lights out is 8pm. Intermediate (3-5) is 8:30pm , middle school is 9pm and high school is 10 pm. I don't mean at ten they can get a drink of water, go to the bathroom , ask me to sign something, or try to start a load of clothes. No, I mean in the bed, TV off, radio off, all bathroom business taken care of and lights OUT! Do you think I am being too strict? Some of my grown children think I'm going overboard with rules on this one. I tried to explain I'm trying to raise 18 kids here not just 2 or 3. Things are different. If I let just one get by with being 10 minutes late, then I've got 18 kids wanting to push boundaries. We get up at 6 am and I'm TIRED by 10pm. I want to go to sleep! I always try to take time to talk to my teens but lately it seems they want to see what they can get by with. Once when they were home at about 10:10 they still needed to eat dinner and shower. I blew my lid. No! if you aren't here at dinner then don't expect to come in after being gone for 4 or 5 hours and want me to change plans to suit them. Like I said if it is a function where everyone is in a group then I understand. Just don't go to a party, weather it is church related or not and come in late. All of the elementary kids sleep on the main floor and if they go to sleep at 8 then they have slept just long enough to wake up at 10 when everyone is laughing and cutting up in the kitchen. I know I'm OLD. I guess I was rude to a couple that is in leadership at the youth service my boys like to attend. The boys come in late on Saturday. Not really late but just a few minutes. Still it was after 10pm. I didn't let them go to a big outdoor service the church had planned for the next day. The young woman did come in and apologize for the night before, but it wasn't her fault. My boys know. They should have said, we need to be getting home. After all they had been there about 3 and a half hours. We live really close to this couple and I know they are trying to help. I know they think I'm being a mean ole woman. But when you are raising a big house full of teenagers things get crazy if control isn't kept. I did give in later in the day after they had went to our home church (without being ask) and came home and apologized. They actually took ownership of the behavior and said "sorry mom , we should have been here by 9:30 and next time we will. It won't happen again." So I let them call and go to the cook out at someones house. They left about 1pm and were home at 8:30. I never go to sleep at night until I lock all the doors and set alarms. I check the little ones and sometimes turn off TVs.
So tell me what you think? Am I being too controlling? Should I lighten up and just sleep on the sofa until they get in? Should I let them eat in their rooms? I know this has worked so far, but the kids are older. 15,16, and 17. Is 10 too early? You tell me.