Bedtime Chaos Resolved!
Bedtime often becomes the parent’s most trying time of the day. Why?
Parents are tired! Face it! It’s been a long day! I can say that no matter what day you’re reading this, and I’m probably right on target! Almost every day of parenting is a long day. But we also know it is filled with joys and moments that touch our hearts that we would never trade in for a more peaceful days, right? So let’s see if we can eliminate one area that consistently adds to the exhaustion… and that’s bedtime, to be sure! The more kids you have, the longer the process. The problem begins when we fail to consider the typical length of the nighttime ritual, and therefore never identify why the glitches occur. And every night we let it take us off guard…over… and over… and dare I say, over again! Instead… Let’s consider the entire process and submit to the elements of bedtime in order to create a routine. That way we are never surprised, and we have the wherewithal to train our kids to follow the routine.
To begin… determine when you want your child to be in bed. Now count your minutes according to the elements involved in bedtime, and make sure your start time is realistic. Remember, we want no surprises!
The elements of your child’s bedtime might look like this:
1. Change into jammies- 10 minutes
2. Brush teeth- 5 minutes
3. Drink of Water- 0 minutes. (always have a covered cup by their bed)
4. Bible story- 15 minutes
5. Prayer time- 5 minutes
6. Quiet Chat time with dad or mom- 15 minutes
This tells us that bedtime takes 50 minutes.
If bedtime is 8:00 p.m., then the routine begins no later than 7:10.
It’s important to know that when children begin to slow down at night which occurs best when there’s a routine, it is natural for them to have a flood of thoughts about their day that they will want to share with you. At Training Hearts we call this the “open window to your child’s heart”. It can be more precious than gold. These random-turned-to-purposeful conversations often go more deeply into your child’s heart and mind than those that occur throughout their day, and might benefit them for life. Go with it Mom! Schedule it into the nighttime routine. Let them ask questions, share thoughts, and tell you what’s important to them. Sometimes it will be difficult due to the silly factor (which dad’s are generally so good at!), but enter into your child’s world anyway, and enjoy it with them. If you’ve prepared to spend that time with them, then it won’t be difficult. It will indeed bless your child abundantly… and you! And with happy hearts, your children are off to sleep and you are on that long awaited momma-break!