Sleepless in Shanghai

"What time does your child go to sleep?" This is becoming my new favorite question here in Shanghai. It is common place to hear children playing down at the playground at 9:00 p.m. and to run into young families around town with their small children out late at night. 

Image credit:
Tonight while waiting in line at an ATM, we started talking to a couple with a 3 or 4 year old boy who attends preschool from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00/6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. I asked whether he took a nap today at school. His mother sadly replied, "No, not today." A few questions later I asked the mother when their son goes to bed. "Well, because he didn't nap today, probably between 9:30 and 10:00."

WOW! This is completely foreign to us. Our daughter goes to bed at 7:00 p.m. when she HAS a nap and around 6:00 p.m. if she does not nap.

One thing we know is that when our daughter has enough sleep, she is a much happier child. And a happy child makes for happy parents. When she doesn't get enough sleep she is moody and fussy which normally results in some poor choices.

What are your thoughts on children and sleep?