Everyday is a busy day for Moms and Dads. You’d want nothing more than to put up your feet and unwind. But wait. The kids need to be put to bed first! If only there were some magical way for the little ones to doze off, like with the snap of your fingers or a wave of your hand. Hold that thought. We’ve got something better than magic. Just ask yourself: What’s the last thing you want your kids to remember before they close their eyes?
Bedtime is a great opportunity to end the day strong and joyfully, no matter what obstacles you went through the hours before. So, here are some nighttime rituals you can try with your kids to end the day with love!
What better way to cap the day than by cozying up in bed and simply having a conversation? Ask your kids about the best parts of their day, and what they’re looking forward to tomorrow. Talk about how your own day was like in detail, because they’ll surely love getting to know more about you, too. If you need more ideas, we have some suggestions on questions to ask your kids apart from “How was your day?”
Run around, have a tickle fight, give them a piggyback ride, and just have a laugh. It’s true that “laughter is the best medicine.” A hearty laugh, while exhausting energy in fun ways, helps you and your kids relax, and even have a good night’s sleep! Laugh the tiredness of the day away!
You can always customize your bedtime routines by including something your little ones enjoy, like a round of singing their favorite nursery rhymes or reading a book aloud. How about trying to create your own story, too? When I was a kid, I loved asking my Mom to make up stories for me. I’d tell her who I want the heroine to be – usually a princess or a fairy – then she’d come up with the rest. It’s a fun bedtime activity to try together!
Heed their request for just one more thing before bed. One more song, one last story, one more little snack, etc. It may be the last thing they need so they can finally get tucked in and call it a day. Just let them know that once they’re in bed, it really is time to sleep!
The nightly routine that I learned from my Mom and which I still practice to this day is saying a prayer before bedtime. Who else memorized this rhyme: “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep…?” I’ve always believed that praying protects us from nightmares! Praying together, and for each other, is also a form of deep love and care. If not a prayer, how about affirmations? Tell your child three (or more) things you love about them, and remind them how special and unique they are!
Which of these rituals would you want to try? Do you have other beloved bedtime routines you want to add on this list? Share your family’s bedtime rituals in the comments!