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What Are Your Family Bedtime Rituals?

Posted by on Jan. 9, 2014 at 9:31 AM
  • 10 Replies

5 of Our Favorite Bedtime Rituals

by Adriana Velez

bedtime storyThink it's hard to put a baby to sleep? Well, for a lot of us, the nighttime fun keeps going as your kids get older. That's why bedtime rituals aren't just for babies and toddlers. They're for kids of all ages -- you just need to adjust them over time. These rituals help relax your kids and quiet their minds so they can get down to the important business of sleeping. They also make for great bonding moments ... well, sometimes, anyway.

This winter I've realized I kind of need to step up my game, so I'm looking to other moms to see what they do with their kids. Here's what they told me.

1. Bedtime stories: These are still a big part of the bedtime ritual for elementary school-age kids. It's a good idea to take care of pajamas and teeth-brushing before story time.

2. Independent reading: With older kids, you might want to transition into independent reading for 15 to 30 minutes, books of their choosing.

3. Special songs and gestures: One mom tells me, "Once lights are out I tickle my son's back while singing 'you are my sunshine.' As for my daughter, once I am through with my son, I go into her room, look under her bed, turn on her dream light, and then tickle her back. She no longer wants me to sing -- but likes the back tickle. Smart kid!" And my mom always said, "Good night, don't let the bed bugs bite!"

4. Evening prayers: However you're doing it, even if you're meditating, this is a good way to reflect on the day. "We always said 'The Lord's Prayer' after bedtime stories and right before lights-out. After we did 'Our Father ...' I would pray for all these relatives and friends and our pets and all the animals in the world," one mom tells me.

5. Talk about your day: Another mom says she and her husband lie down each with a different kid to talk about their day. "I answer all the odd questions that seem to pop into their heads at the time of day that my brain is shutting off, like: Why can’t you just print your own money? and When do you think you are going to die? [head implodes] It’s the one time of day that it’s just the two of us, quiet, no distractions of homework or dinner dishes. The perfect time to really relax, talk, and cuddle. It’s pretty awesome." If you need a prompt, you can try the "rose and thorn" game -- each person has to name one thing that went well today (the rose) and one thing that didn't (the thorn).

Does your family have any other bedtime rituals?

by on Jan. 9, 2014 at 9:31 AM
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Replies (1-10):
by on Jan. 9, 2014 at 9:40 AM
Usually a story and always prayers.

Lately sometime with their dreamLights from Christmas lol..
by Group Admin on Jan. 9, 2014 at 10:24 AM
I go to each child's room. Ensure my 2 bed wetters have clean sheets, if we had to run first thing in the morning.

I start with the youngest and go to my oldest.

I remind them each to brush their teeth, and go potty. They get in pj's if they have not already. Then I listen to their prayers. Last, I read the littlest a story and the older three get a chapter from the books we are currently reading.
by Silver Member on Jan. 9, 2014 at 10:31 AM

My kids are past the age of having bedtime rituals now, but when they were little it was always the same thing: Chocolate milk and the nightly news with daddy, then prayers and stories and one verse of "How Great Thou Art" . Now I'm lucky if I get a "Night, Mom" as they pass through the kitchen.

by on Jan. 9, 2014 at 11:28 AM

We read a bed time story and then my daughter asks what the plan is for the next day.

by on Jan. 9, 2014 at 11:47 AM
At 7:15-7:30 we start getting ready for bed. So putting pjs on, getting teeth brushed, flossed and mouth wash. I read a few stories to them. Once teh whole process is done; they are in bed by 8 pm.
by on Jan. 9, 2014 at 12:22 PM

We always do story time....then, because we are a weird little group, we usually cuddle up and wat Deadly Women reruns on Investigation Discovery We aren't Christian so we don't have prayers, but we usually reflect on our favorite parts of the day during dinner, 

by on Jan. 9, 2014 at 12:37 PM

 I read to my youngest 2 every night & then they listen to audio books for the rest of the night (it seams to help them sleep better).

by on Jan. 12, 2014 at 12:19 AM

Ds bathes, brushes his teeth, and gets his pajamas on, and then we read a chapter or so out of whatever book we are reading. We have hugs/cuddles, we sing a song (usually "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star," or my altered version of "Baby Mine."), we give good dreams zaps, and then kissing hands, and it's off to bed.

by on Jan. 12, 2014 at 1:08 AM
We have some things we do through the week, so we have quick bedtimes. If we weren't at church late, clubs, etc... they like to snuggle in living room and either watch something short or read together.

Sometimes in the winter we spend some time playing hide n seek in the dark. We light a candle where the counter counts and we all go hide. My toddler runs around with us in the dark and its actually helped my middle two with their fear of the dark. They sometimes get a glow bracelet to hide with, but it makes it easier to find you..
by Silver Member on Jan. 12, 2014 at 1:31 AM

Generally he brushes his teeth and then I read to him for a while, or he reads to me.  Sometimes he asks me to sing to him and sometimes he just goes to bed on his own.

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