Bed Time Routines

Bed time routines: What you can do to make sleep come easier for your children.

Rest and sleep do not come easy for children. After all, going to sleep would mean missing out on something very important. Do you remember that episode of Growing pains when the youngest daughter refused to sleep because she thought her parents and older siblings threw a party every time she went to bed? Children have no clue what they will be missing out on, but they know that it's something very important. It's up to us, as parents, to ease their minds and help them rest for the upcoming day. A very important way that we can help is to develop some type of nightly ritual that eases our children's minds. Over time, these rituals may have to be changed, as the children grow and mature, but the bonds that develop with be far worth the time put in.

These ideas can be done as a nightly ritual or interchanged to offer a variety:

· Give your toddlers a nightly bath, dress them in warm pj's, serve them a cup of warm milk or hot cocoa, brush their teeth and sing them to sleep.

· Once tucking your toddler into bed, read him or her a favorite bedtime story. As they get older, switch to chapter books and read a chapter a night.

· Get out some color crayons and coloring books and place them in the living room floor. Then grab your kids and have them lay down on their bellies and just color with them.

· Play a board game an hour before bed, so that they go to bed thinking about the fun they had with their family.

· Have a miniature party right before bedtime. Dancing to their favorite music while munching on some cut up veggies is a good way to let out that pent up energy as well as end any hunger pains that may be lurking.

· A half hour before bed, take the kids into the back yard and play night tag or laser tag.

· Have evening tea with the kids while listening to soothing music. You can add variations to this by taking the tea outside to look at the stars on a warm summer night, or stare into the fireplace on a cool winter evening, while trying to make out the figures in the flames.

· Right before bedtime, as you tuck them into bed, tickle them feverishly or roll them off the bed and wrestle with them on the floor.

· Every once in a while, let them call an aunt, uncle, grandmother, grandfather, or working spouse right before bedtime.

· Find a good movie to watch, pop some popcorn and have the kids meet in your bedroom. One by one the kids will fall asleep and you can place them in their own beds.

· Teach your children to have conversations with God through prayer. Sometimes, just talking to God about life's every day events will help bring clarity to any confusion they may be having as well as bring them to some type of peace.

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