SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – As the daylight hours lengthen, Dutch parents are increasingly confused about what time they should ensure their kids are in bed, according to Dutch magazine Ouders van Nu.
Editor Hilde Tholen told broadcaster NOS that peer pressure about watching television shows such as The Voice means children are trying to stay up longer.
‘From April to July, parents are more likely to look for advice on this on our website than in the winter,’ she reportedly said.
‘Bedtime is a very Dutch, also rather a German phenomenon. In other countries, children simply go to bed when they are tired.’
The Vereniging Kind en Slaap, an association of doctors who deal with child sleep issues, advised that parents should judge individual needs.
‘Always putting an infant to bed at 7pm isn’t good,’ chairperson and child neurologist Sigrid Pillen reportedly said. ‘The ideal bedtime can vary by half an hour from one child to another.’
She added that putting kids to bed too early doesn’t mean they are automatically better off. ‘They can spend hours protesting or lying awake, while a young lad who really wants to play football [late at night] might then sleep far better.
‘A good guideline is: if you have to wake children in the morning, they aren’t getting enough sleep. If a child wakes up alone and feels good during the day, he or she is sleeping enough – even if peers are going to bed an hour earlier.’ (DutchNews)