kids

Last night, the ABC did something that caused parents around the country a lot of grief.

Bedtime routines were thrown into chaos. Mums’ wine time was delayed by half an hour.

“Why the hell would you mess with a good thing?????? It’s messing with EVERYONE’S bedtime!!!!!!” one exasperated parent said.

One mum wanted to know what the ABC was going to do to compensate parents for their children being awake longer. “Bottle of wine? Free babysitting?”

“Dude! What are you doing to me? Bedtime’s 7pm and hard enough! Are you trying to send me even more grey? I thought we were friends, man.”

“My daughter turns one next Monday. Due to her health this year, it’s the one thing that I was able to rely upon for consistency.”

When the public broadcaster made a slight change to its ABC KIDS TV guide, all hell broke lose.

Do not mess with Hoot’s Lullaby. Seriously, do not do it.

Last night was a tough night for many households with small children across Australia.

Bedtime routines were thrown into chaos. Mums’ wine time was delayed by half an hour.

It was all due to ABC KIDS extending their programming from 7pm till 7.30pm, pushing shows such as Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom, Shaun The Sheep and Hoot’s Lullaby into a later timeslot.

The response on the ABC KIDS For Parents Facebook page was heartfelt.

“Faaaarrrrkkkk,” wrote one mum.

Another demanded to know what the ABC was going to do to compensate parents for their children being awake longer. “Bottle of wine? Free babysitting?”

A dad was horrified. “Dude! What are you doing to me? Bedtime’s 7pm and hard enough! Are you trying to send me even more grey? I thought we were friends, man.”

Amy Wilkinson was one of the many mums who posted in protest: “Noooooo, 7pm is bedtime. We need the lullaby just before 7pm, please.”

Wilkinson tells Mamamia that it’s part of her family’s bedtime routine to sit on the couch all together and sing Hoot’s lullaby, followed by a book.

“Because it’s so light at 7pm, the lullaby helps to make a point that it’s bedtime.”

She says they “survived” last night, but it threw a spanner in the works.

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“YouTube Hoot’s Lullaby saved the day.”

Anna Gabrielle Hansen also posted on the Facebook page: “Why the hell would you mess with a good thing?????? It’s messing with EVERYONE’S bedtime!!!!!!”

For Hansen, the change in scheduling was particularly difficult.

“My daughter turns one next Monday,” she tells Mamamia. “Due to her health this year, it’s the one thing that I was able to rely upon for consistency. I’ve ended up having to record Ben And Holly, because there’s no way I want to put her to bed at 7.30pm. I know it’s only half an hour, but it does matter, especially to all the mums who rely on that consistency. Hopefully we can get it changed back ASAP!”

LISTEN: Debrief on the whole mess with This Glorious Mess (post continues after audio…)

On their Facebook page, ABC KIDS For Parents tried to allay some of the parents’ concerns. To the mum who posted that her sons were “devastated” they wouldn’t be seeing Shaun The Sheep before bed at 7pm, there was this response: “Your little ones can also watch Shaun The Sheep anytime on ABC KIDS iView.”

The extended hours were trialled back in January this year, and an ABC spokesperson says that was a success. This time, the change is permanent.

“The majority of the audience response so far has been positive and in favour of the extended hours,” the spokesperson tells Mamamia. “This is also supported by strong audience figures throughout the extra half-hour as well as feedback via the ABC KIDS For Parents Facebook account.

“To assist families we’ve continued to make Hoot’s Lullaby available on ABC KIDS iview any time, and last night launched a new season of storybook readings (Play School Story Time) in place of the lullaby, to help those families who wish to continue with a 7pm bedtime routine.”

Some parents on the Facebook page have sounded surprised that others are struggling to cope with the changes.

“Why is everyone so upset about this?” asked one dad. “Our kids have a system too, but learning adaptability and flexibility is essential to growing up.”

A mum added, “I’m just amazed people have children that sleep at 7pm. That’s, like, miraculous to me.”

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