We're slowly working on Micah's bedtime routine. It's been years and years in the making. Long story short, he won't sleep alone. We have given he and Luke separate beds, rather than the double they were sharing, and that was a giant step. But they still share a room. Micah has his own room, mind you, but actually sleeping there is large and scary and probably involves monsters in the closet.
Luke is big boy enough, now, so that he gets to stay up until late, but Micah still needs more sleep than that, and herein lies the problem. Micah won't just lay down in his bed and go to sleep, because nobody is in the room with him. We have a large family, and there is absolutely no reason for us, as the parents, to have to sit with Micah until he goes to sleep. We've done our time, man. It's time for the siblings to step up.
Let it be noted that Luke is always the one to step up, because Micah sleeps in his room.
For this reason, we allowed Luke to make a Put Micah To Bed chart. Each teen's name is written on the chart, and they add a tally behind their name when they've done bedtime duty. This way, the job doesn't always fall to Luke. This chart is hanging on the bedroom door, clearly visible, so that everyone is aware of the sharing of the responsibility.
We are a busy family here, which is normal when kids get to be the ages that our kids are. Three of the 4 teens drive, and are always working or with friends. Sometimes I never see a particular kid in a day between my schedule and theirs, and I know Micah feels the same way. He gets ridiculously excited when one of them comes home, and feels the need to announce it to the family.
Yes, Micah, Becky is home. Are you glad to see her?
So when Becky came home the other evening, Micah took her by the hand, led her upstairs, and put a tally by her name on the bedtime chart.
"Micah, you know when you put a check on here, it means it's time for you to go to bed, right?"
And then Micah frantically erased the check mark, because NEVER WILLINGLY GO TO BED EVEN IF IT'S 1:00AM!!! And he wiped his brow with the back of his hand and sighed a breath of relief. That was such a close one.