It's bedtime, come tuck me in!

There is a lot of bloggers out there, including myself that seems to constantly be talking about sex or for the lucky ones, having sex!
 
With that, I think there are quite a lot of us that have children, so for this post I would like to share our bedtime routine.  I decided to share it because so many other moms and dads that I have talked about it with seem to really like it!
 
It started when I gave my girls a journal that every night I would write a question in it and at 8pm they would go upstairs to get ready for bed and write in their journals.
 
The following are a few examples of the kinds of questions I would ask them:
What is your favorite holiday and why?
How was your day at school?
What are you looking forward to on the weekend?
Who is your best friend and why?
If you could design your room any way you want, what would you do?
 
The ideas are simply endless and the things you learn about your kids, priceless!
 
I wanted to do this because my teenage daughter would want to tell me things but I could tell she just didn’t want to say it, so I gave her an outlet.  If I thought she had something she wanted to talk about I would ask a question that would open her up to being able to express her feelings about anything she wanted to say without having to say it.
 
Sometimes I would give my girls the same question but sometimes if I thought they wanted to express themselves about something in particular, they would be different questions.
 
Then at about 8:30pm I would go in and read their answers while sitting with them and then for ten minutes I would talk with them, either about what they wrote or whatever else they wanted to talk about.
 
They don’t write in there journals every night but we still do our ten minutes.  They really look forward to it.  Before, they would want to stay up past there bedtime quite often and now, I just tell them as long as they are ready and in bed by 8:30, I will come in and have ten minutes with them.  For the most part, they are always in bed on time now.  And most importantly, in THEIR bed!
 
Along the way I learned things to make it work for our family.  First is that my youngest daughter always went second because she seemed to be a little jealous when she could hear my older daughter and I laughing and talking in the next room.  So, I always end with my youngest so that she can go to sleep right after without wondering about what we were doing or often times feel the urge to come in the room asking what we are talking about.  I want each of them to have their ten minutes, privately.
 
Also, I always use a timer.  It’s exactly 10 minutes, that way they both know they got ten minutes and no one has more time than the other.
 
More recently, while I am with my teen, their dad is with our youngest… then it’s a tag team situation where we switch and that way they have time with both parents and they are able to tell us both anything that they want.  Also, if they want to tell one of us something, but not the other for whatever reason, then they have that opportunity most nights.
 
I have found that this is great for parents because by 9pm, the kids are on their way to dreamland and the parents are on the way to bed, too.  I always watch a show while they kids are falling asleep and by the time my show is done, both my girls are usually fast asleep.
 
So, I get my own private time… you can fill in the rest!
 

4 comments:

  1. That is really sweet what you do with your girls, it is a lovely memory for them to take into adulthood as they get older.
    For some it is easier to write their feelings then to express them in spoken word. That gives them an excellent way to convey themselves.

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  2. This really sounds like a great plan. I bet your girls will really value those journals one day.

    So how was your day at school?

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  3. That is so inviting, then I rolled over the picture, that is hilarious, where do you find that. Seeing that first picture made me of how walking in on that would leave no options but to preform like the bears

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  4. Sounds like a great routine! Our kids are a little younger: LoudBoy (kindergarten) is just learning to read so we spend about that time (10 minutes, maybe a little more) practicing reading. Birdsnest (7 yrs) was actually writing in her journal last night on her own (first time I've witnessed that), so your idea is very timely. However, she usually is supposed to read 10-15 minutes as homework (and does it before bed) so we may have to work the journal in when we can. Nice ideas!

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