Put an End to Bedtime Battles
The creak of her door and her small feet padding along the hardwood floor were dead giveaways that Sophia wasn’t where she was supposed to be. After several failed attempts to put her to bed, she peeked around the corner yet again.
“Mom, I’m scared,” she whimpered.
At this point, it took everything within me to stay calm.
“The wind sounds like a big ‘wooooosh’, and I don’t like it,” she explained.
“It is just wind Sophia. There is nothing to be afraid of,” I replied convincingly.
She still looked scared, and skeptical. All the reasoning I had tried up until this point was not doing one bit of good. I was fighting back frustration. She was fighting back fear. Her anxiety was making me angry inside, because I was one tired momma and all I wanted was some peace and quiet! — of my child andher in with a kiss on the forehead so she would soon —
For a variety of reasons, we’ve probably all been there. A long day makes a peaceful night all the more desirable! And yet sometimes getting kids to bed quickly and quietly isn’t all that easy.
Bedtime is not just hard for kids; bedtime can be hard for parents! Especially parents of little kids.
As my children have grown older and our youngest Sophia is now seven years-old, the struggle at bedtime has gotten better.
We’ve learned, mostly the hard way, that the secret to a good night’s sleep is often a peaceful bedtime routine. While it may not be easy, creating the right environment and routine can be incredibly beneficial to our children.
Routines give children a sense of security and stability. They can create calm after a chaotic day. So slowing down and transitioning from busy to bedtime happens best when we create these restful routines each night for them.
Here are a few simple steps to help make bedtime more peaceful.
1. Start getting ready for bed earlier to take the rush out of bedtime and begin winding down at the same time each night.
2. Give clear expectations for what each child needs to do to get ready for bed.
3. And most importantly, end the day with time together as a family, talking, praying or sharing a family devotion.
There are many fabulous Bible storybooks and devotionals to read to our children. A book like Really Wooly Good Night God, is an excellent way to comfort little ones with God’s love and truth. It is full of scripture verses, prayer starters and rhymes to soothe our kids at bedtime. Our children need to know that God is with them and for them. What better way to end each day than with the truth that God watches over us and is present with us!
Creating a more peaceful and joyful transition from a busy day to restful night happens when we put in place nightly rhythms. Bedtime becomes not only easier and more peaceful, but it becomes meaningful. Instead of dreaded time of day, it becomes a nightly routine that all of us will one day look back on fondly.
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What other bedtime routine ideas does your family have? If you’re struggling with the dreaded bedtime hour or if you’ve had a little one struggle with bedtime and finally settle into a routine, come share with us on our blog. We’d love to hear from you!