Tuesday, 21 October 2008

cultural sleeping differences

There are a lot of cultural differences between the UK and Bosnia, particularly around children. The one that I am noticing the most is bedtime/naptime. I've always sought to get my boys to bed and asleep by about 7.30. The reality is more like 8 and if I'm really off my game it can go as late as 8.3o. But that is about as late as it gets. Ever.

Here children don't seem to go to bed until their parents do. This is, I know, a very European tradition and it is the UK that is out of kilter with the rest of the continent. But I like having the evenings free to do my own stuff in some form of peace and quiet, so don't really want to change. However, friends with appropriately aged children keep asking if I want to meet them at the play centre at 8pm. I'm rapidly realising that if I want some form of child company during the week, it will have to be during the evenings. The weekends are looking like a much better alternative.

The flip side of this is that the Bosnian children continue to have a good 2 hour nap during the day right up until they go to school. This does mean that the Bosnian Mummies get a break during the day, but I'm on duty from the moment I get up until the moment I get them into bed (nursery notwithstanding) as Adam hasn't slept during the day for almost a year now.

Most of the time this difference in sleeping habits doesn't matter at all. However, I was slightly late in picking up the boys from nursery yesterday and found Adam in tears. The other children were all lying down for their sleep and he most definitely didn't think that he had to have one. The nursery staff do believe that children of his age should have a nap so were trying to persuade him to do so.

So, although I have paid for nursery until 1.30pm each day, I shall continue to pick them up at 12 as this appears to be the only way I can hold onto my English sleeping routine and maintain peace and harmony at nursery.

1 comment:

Grande Poobah said...

I think the UK system sucks

As I've matured (as of the last birthday I've ceased aging as such) I've thought that a siesta is a very fine idea, and the idea of introducing it early doors can only be a good idea surely?