Bedtime Rituals Easing Kids Into Dreamland
Bedtime can be a very special time. It
can be a time of getting to know your child better. Or it can be a battle of wills
where everyone misses out.
There is no perfect formula for bedtime
routines, however children thrive most when they know what is expected of
them and when the adults caring for them stick as close as possible to the rules
that are set.
regular bedtime - that parents stick to - give the bedtime ritual stability. Not
only that, but research has found that going to bed at the same time every night
sets your body clock so you actually get tired around that time. The extra bonus
is that regular
sleep habits mean better, more restful sleep.
work schedules sometimes do not permit parents to be home early enough to have
a consistent bedtime for the kids and that can throw everything off. This can
possible, when you have to work late try to get a babysitter who can put the kids
to bed at the regular time. You can always sneak in for a hug and a kiss when
you get home. If your
work schedule changes frequently, the children will grow accustomed to that. They
will learn how to be flexible and that is a good quality to instill.
is natural for children to want to be important. Regardless of what time bedtime
ends up being, try to incorporate some alone time into your last minutes of the
day together. To avoid resentment from your children and to reassure them that
you do have time for them, try a few of these ideas:
story is a sure fire way to relax your child and get some quality cuddling
in! Pick out a few books ahead of time that are not too full of action and stimulation.
Then present the books to your child. Letting your child choose the book gives
him or her opportunity to learn how to make choices. If the same book gets chosen
night after night, that is okay. It might get boring or repetitive for you but
children like familiar things. Reading the same book also helps children learn
one of my four children has a favorite lullaby that I must sing. What is interesting
is that each has a different favorite! Sometimes I try to change things around
and sing something else for the sake of variety but it never works.
Find out which
song your child likes, or even make one up, and make that part of your special
time together. As my four year old once told me when I tried to get out of singing
one night since my throat was sore, “That's okay Mommy. I can still hear
When children relate going to bed with getting reassurance and love from the people
they love, bedtime is a lot easier.
the Author... Katrina Cramer-Diaz is a working mom with a background
in education and plenty of experience in parenting. She lives in Virginia with
her four children and works for the Virginia Beach Public Schools.