How to read when your parents want you to sleep

DOGSRULE asks: I am reading a lot of books, and my parents love it, but they said they might ban me from reading because I usually stay up past my bedtime to read. What should I do?


Thanks for your question about your reading.

I think that, in the eyes of most parents, kids reading is like dogs barking.  If a person buys a dog, they most likely want it to bark – but only when they want it to; the rest of the time, the barking really annoys them!

Similarly, although I’m always hearing adults worry that kids don’t read enough, you’re not alone in having parents get frustrated by your love of reading!

My friend Handsome had a similar situation when he was growing up.  His trick was to read by a tiny nightlight that was near the floor by his bed.  He’d lay on his bed with the book on the floor, leaning over in a really odd position; and you can probably guess that later in his life, he began to develop some really nasty back problems!  So I don’t recommend that!

My easy answer to you, DOGSRULE, is to obey your parents.  What they really want is for you to get enough sleep, and that’s super-important for your health and energy.

But what if they’re not quite right?  What if you don’t need as much sleep as they say?  Well, then you probably have a perfect solution.  If you go to bed when they say to, and then you wake up earlier than they want to wake you up, that’s when you get that extra reading in.  Parents are a lot less likely to be upset that you’re waking up early than if you’re going to bed late.  And if you don’t wake up early, then that just means that they were right that you needed all that sleep.  And if so, that’s nothing bad; you’re growing, and that sleep will help you grow strongly in all the ways you should.

(One warning, though: I’m not recommending that you do any tricks to wake yourself up earlier!  Don’t set an alarm or something, so you can get to those books.  You’ll miss out on the sleep you need, and they might catch you, and ooooooooooh will you get into trouble then!)

One great thing about books is that there’s no time in them.  It’s not like the book won’t be there after that sleep, with your place still marked, waiting to tell you the story you were reading, right from where you left it.  So this is one situation where you really can do what your parents say, without missing out on anything.

Though I know there’ll still be nights when a book is so exciting, it’ll be just awful to have to put it down.  But that doesn’t mean your parents are wrong; it’s just that that’s a GREAT book!



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Leave a Reply 2 comments

tan - May 21, 2013 Reply

Actually I’m like this person……I think there’s nothing wrong with reading at night, is there? Especially when it comes to Harry Potter for me……

    Shirelle - May 22, 2013 Reply

    As long as you’re getting enough sleep to be healthy — and Voldemort isn’t giving you horrible nightmares! — I agree!

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