We have a 4 year old, Deacon, who much like his mother :) is highly sensitive and has a very difficult time unwinding mentally at night to go to sleep. When he was younger we tried a set bed time, but it generally resulted in 45minutes of straight crying and left both of us frustrated. We've since moved away from this approach and have tried to let each of our two boys go to sleep naturally, whatever that time might be. At the same time, my wife and I both want to have time to ourselves in the evenings.
Lately it seems that no matter how tired he obviously is, he has a superhuman ability to stay awake and wants us to play or watch shows with him. This is at 11 or 11:30 at night. He still wakes up at say 7-7:30, and everything during the day just seems harder for him when he isn't getting more sleep. We occasionally try to take them for drives to get them to sleep, but we know that more for us then them, and we don't want that to be the only way they can go to sleep.
The other thing that's hard for me, personally, is that he's most demanding of my wife. He's usually asking her to come out and play or whatever. He's just always really needed Mommy. I'm the one that usually stays up late, and wish that I could take need off of her somewhat to make it easier on her.
How can we help him slow down mentally at night? Is it wrong for us to want that time for ourselves at night? Should we be staying up and playing or watching his shows with him even at 11? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.