How does your bedtime routine pan out? Are your children in what you would say is a good routine or does it need some work?
Today we look at 3 things parents should be doing for their children at bedtime.
3 simple things that take only several minutes that will have a positive impact on your children and the relationship you share together:
1. Ask how their day has been
Reconnecting with your children at the end of the day is important. Some days (like us all) they will be more willing to open up and talk than others. Still ask the question. This one on one time is special so use it to truly listen to what they have to say. They may have something on their mind and need reassurance. It maybe that they want to ask you about something. Begin unwinding from the busy day you've all had by snuggling up and talking to one another. No distractions, this is quality time now. Connecting on this level is a positive way for your relationship to thrive.
If you have more than one child you could do this altogether and take it in turns to listen to one another. Encourage siblings to ask each other questions too, this will help with their bonding.
From time to time you may want to do this one on one. Maybe your child seems a little quiet on a particular day? Use the parenting intuition that never lets you down to be the judge of when your child may need you to themselves.
2. Read a story
Is your child on the go what seems 24/7?
Reading to your children is a nurturing activity. Reading gives you both the opportunity to stop, get together and enjoy something.
"Children become readers on the laps of their parents" - Emilee Buckwald. Isn't that so true.
Not only do you have the benefits of more one on one nurturing time with your child and developing your bond, reading also has academic benefits too. From learning to turn the pages, discovering the correct way to hold a book, to being imaginative and creative. Reading is a great way to shut off from the day.
If you have more than one child why not take it in turns to choose the bedtime story book?
Get your children really involved by asking them about the pictures they see in the book.
What do they think will happen next? If it is a well loved story why not leave part of the sentence for them to say out loud? Your children will really enjoy contributing to the story!
3. Kiss them goodnight and tell them you love them.
Never let your children go to sleep without telling them you love them. Some days of course they will fall to sleep before you get chance, but still go in to give them a kiss and whisper 'I love you'.
The 3 words that we all need to hear and feel.
It really does melt my heart when I tuck Little N up in bed and say goodnight I love you and she says back "Goodnight my little angel I love you too".
She also uses our little goodnight routine on her dollies as she plays Mommy. Again it is beyond cute and touching to see and hear!
There we have it - 3 things we should all be doing with our children at the end of the day. Some nights it wont be possible to do all 3 and that's ok of course.
My Dad always used to say to me "Goodnight, God Bless" - every night without fail.
If I call him before bedtime now he will always say it as he says bye. It touches me every time. Its a memory for me now. It takes me back to my happy childhood.
So when you next put your child/ren to bed, try the three steps.
Life can get busy, but there are some things in life we must make time for.
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