For Kids, Watching Games Means Tired Mornings

American children are watching the Olympics and waking up tired the next morning. Parents and children at Washington, D.C.'s Home Run Baseball Camp and the camp's director, John McCarthy, say the inspiration the games bring counteracts the tired mornings.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

MICHELE NORRIS:

And I'm Michele Norris. For those of us raising young children, the Olympics have posed a dilemma: to watch or to sleep. How can you say no when your child pleads, can I please stay up to watch Michael Phelps win one more medal? Bedtime rules are going out the window in many homes. But even though school's out, some kids still have to get up early for summer camp.

Unidentified Man: Tyler, Tyler, where are you going? Everyone else is still in here.

Unidentified Man: Let's go. Line up, guys.

NORRIS: If you're eight years old and you have to show up at baseball camp each morning, the best you can do is at least act as if you're awake.

Mr. CHAS GOLDMAN (Camper): I feel fine. I haven't really wasted much energy, so we'll see.

NORRIS: That's Chas Goldman(ph) of Takoma Park, Maryland at Home Run Baseball Camp here in Washington, D.C. He's a gymnastics fan and some nights, those gymnastics competitions didn't air on TV until 10:00 p.m. or later. Gavin Chesen(ph) has a 9:00 p.m. bedtime normally. His mom, Alicia Chesen(ph), let that slide this summer to around 10:00 p.m. She says she pays for the late nights the next morning.

Ms. ALICIA CHESEN (Mother): It is hard to get him out of bed.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Ms. CHESEN: There's no question about it. I count my blessings that school isn't on right now and this is camp, so there's a little bit more of a - I guess they're a little bit more laid back about it.

NORRIS: Five-year-old Sophie Graft(ph) usually follows a strict routine - 8:30 bath, 9:00 bed, story until 9:30. Her mom, Sarah Kahn(ph), says the later nights are fine with her.

Ms. SARAH KAHN (Mother): Summertime, it's not as critical to us. They've got their camp. The camp starts a little later than school. And we'll be more than happy to have a little bit more Olympics to decrease the energy in the house. They're doing just fine.

NORRIS: And, she adds, her daughter has drawn some inspiration from the games. She's watched beach volleyball and now has her own bikini.

Mr. JOHN McCARTHY (Director, Home Run Camp): Let's go. Hit it, man. Let's go, let's go.

NORRIS: Home Run Baseball camp is run by John McCarthy. He says there's a good side to all this Olympic watching. It's an opening talk with kids about sportsmanship and training.

Mr. McCARTHY: Doesn't seem like they're tired. It seems like they're inspired by the athletes and the covers. So we try to talk about some other athletes that we might've seen or stories we might've seen, but it's nice to share the experience of all these kids because I'm a fan like the kids are.

Hey, try to bend your knees a little bit more.

NORRIS: Shanna Brotsman(ph) is seven years old. She plays first base short stop and second base at camp, and she's changed her evening routine.

Ms. SHANNA BROTSMAN (Camper): Usually, I just take a shower and go to bed. But now, I just go and watch Olympics instead of going to bed straight away.

Mr. ROBERT BROTSMAN (Father): It's been great. She is - I got to know different sports and we talk about how much training is involved, and it makes her want to come to baseball camp.

NORRIS: Shanna's dad, Robert Brotsman(ph), has discovered a great parenting tool in other Olympics coverage.

Mr. BROTSMAN: Sometimes it's hard to get up in the morning that I told Shanna that we're going to get up the morning and watch Olympics, and that gets her out of bed, right?

Ms. BROTSMAN: Yes.

NORRIS: Parents and their Olympic-watching, sleep-deprived, bleary-eyed kids at Home Run Baseball Camp in Washington, D.C. The games end this weekend and, luckily for some parents, before school starts.

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