Are you struggling to get your kids to bed on time? Do you lose your temper when one of your children (or all!) are not listening to you the first time you ask them to get ready for bed when its time for bed? Here are 5 tips on establishing bedtime routines, the easy way!
Our schedule has changed since I last wrote about my daily routines so here is an update on our successes and failures!
The kids and I spend a lot of time together. My husband gets home pretty late so it’s harder to stay focused on our routines when he pulls in the driveway closer to 8pm. Thankfully, it’s more of an exception than reality. We may not always get to eat dinner together with him, so we gather around the table while he eats and we tell him about our day.
I wake up really early to teach Chinese students online. I have found my energy has waned and struggled by night time to keep up with the kids. Since my husband has a physically strenuous job, night time is downtime for all of us during the weekdays.
SET ASIDE FAMILY TIME WITHOUT INTERRUPTIONS
With this fast-paced age of information across social media outlets, devices are making a multitude of sounds several times a day. It can become a great distraction when connecting with each other after a long, busy day.
Removing devices temporarily for a short period of time can bring you peace and strength your relationships.
Part of our routine after dinner is eliminating all distractions (devices, including phones) for 30 minutes. This is the time to communicate and catch up on our day’s activities. We sit in the living room and talk about anything that comes to our minds.
This is also a great time to do a family devotion. Get into the Word. Just start with 5-10 minutes praying and discussing the Lord’s greatness and what you are thankful for.
A read-aloud is also a great way to spark a discussion. We also enjoy trivia questions either on the bible or animals/insects.
DAD TIME ONE DAY A WEEK
Does your husband get home late and you need some to recharge without the fam for a few minutes? Schedule time for just Dad and the kiddos. Make it one day a week so there is something to look forward to. Ask your husband to take them for ice cream, something easy and simple after a long, exhausting day. My family has enjoyed building a bond fire together, watching a funny video or just settling down on the couch and playing a game. This also allows me to slip off to my room and begin my self-care routine for the next day. Woo Hoo!
ESTABLISH BEDTIME ROUTINE FOR SPOUSE TIME
We decided 9:30 pm is “get ready for bed” time. Every family is different, so it may be later or earlier for yours. It gives my husband enough quality time with the kids before bed and us a chance to reconnect for a few minutes before falling asleep. Don’t forget to schedule in time with each other. It’s essential to make time for one another.
INCLUDE STEPS FOR GETTING READY THE NEXT DAY
It’s a great habit to find ways to get prepared for the next day. Have the kids tidy up their room, remind them of any activities for tomorrow and lay out their clothes for the next day. Allow them time for prayer and reading as they wind down from a busy day.
For you moms, make sure your clothes are laid out for the next day too, including socks and shoes! It makes a huge difference as it helps get you up quickly and keeps you energized for the day.
Then, talk to your spouse. Enjoy this time together — it’s peaceful and quiet!
GO TO BED EVERY NIGHT AT THE SAME TIME
When our family has a consistent schedule every night, waking up is SO much easier. Be consistent with going to bed every night and you’ll sleep beautifully! I don’t have issues with falling asleep anymore because I wake up really early and go to bed by midnight since I work a couple of hours at night (in the summer only).
Wrapping up, establishing bedtime routines for our family is essential for mental, physical and spiritual health. It also sets up the next day for success. I am thankful for our daily routines! It gives me a peace of mind about what’s expected and can plan my day accordingly. There is a time or season to be spontaneous but, it should be a rare treat. Routines give families a sense of security and purpose throughout the day.
I pray this has encouraged you to think about your daily obstacles and determine if you can eliminate them by using routines as a guideline. It keeps me focused as I tend to get distracted by messes in the house and the dings from my phone. It’s also healthy for spouses to schedule time alone to reconnect and refresh, thus, ending on a good note before sleep creeps up on us.