Here are some tips to establishing a bedtime routine with your little ones:
- Separate your evening into two parts. The first part should have family fun. Dinner, of course. Then watch a family friendly tv show together, play a game together, go for a walk, work on a puzzle, have a tickle fest, just do something fun as a family. This builds the bond of family and lets your child have some move around time, not just sitting in front of electronics.
- The second part of your evening should be calm. Bath time, a light snack, then a quiet activity like reading a book. We love to light candles every night and if the tv is on, it is quiet, not blaring loud. You can even play calming music. Having things quiet and calm helps prepare us for bed.
- Always include God in your routine. The routine that children have early on will carry with them for many years to come. My family's routine is very similar to the routine I had growing up. My kids are now teenagers, but it's the same routine we've always had. Including God early on will help your children establish a place for bedtime devotions in their life. Have devotions, even if it is only reading one verse, a short chat about it and prayer. Just make sure to include God!
- Have their bedroom ready. Keep their bedroom as clean as you can. I know, I know, with little ones it's
impossiblereally hard. Try doing a bedroom clean up before dinner. If their room is free of distractions, it is easier for them to go to sleep. The bed should be clear of clothes and toys so that they can go right in and sleep.
- Stick to your routine. As much as you can, stick to it. It cannot become routine if it changes each day. Sometimes our routine will need to be flexible, like for mid-week church services or maybe an older child's sporting event. Help your little one ease into those times, like reading 1 book instead of 2 or maybe waking them up an hour later in the morning.
Remember, your child will thrive with a routine. More importantly, your child will thrive spiritually when you add God into that routine.
I want to share Words to Dream On, a book of bedtime Bible stories and prayers. Each story includes an engaging title, a bedtime blessing (a short summary thought), words to dream on (a brief Bible verse), and a sleepy time prayer (a good night prayer tied to the theme of the story). It also includes a letter to parents that gives ideas for establishing a good bedtime routine with young children and tips for reading aloud to children at bedtime.
Words to Dream On will make a great addition to your family library and your bedtime routine. To enter to win a copy, complete each task in the rafflecopter below.