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? I don’t know about you, but in my house when summer hits, our routines seem to go out the window. Since the new school year is around the corner, it may be a perfect time for our families to re-install a bedtime schedule.
Getting the kids prepped for those early morning adventures in education coming soon is a necessity! Last week, our family went back to our early night schedule (newly improved!) and it’s been pleasant, less stressful and worry-free.
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 9pm. 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 tell him about our day.
Establish a short amount of time for communicating.
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 them 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 joys and sorrows. We sit in the living room and talk about anything that comes to our minds. I usually start with asking my husband how his day was and what type of job he is working on this week.
The kids patiently wait for him to finish his thoughts then it’s a free for all! They bombard him with questions and their experiences/issues of the day. And, that’s OK. If we are stuck on what to discuss, we have a jar of questions and my daughter loves to lead on this activity! Last night, she wanted to play charades and we had a great time watching her get excited about figuring out ways to help us decode her message!
Important Bonding Time with Dad.
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. My husband likes to play a game with them after he decompresses from a long, exhausting day. Games may include throwing the football, driving to a local rink to play hockey for a half hour, or just settling down on the couch with a tablet in hand playing their newest video game. This also allows me to slip off to my room and begin my self-care routine for the next day. Woo Hoo!
Determine a reasonable time to begin bedtime that works with your situation.
We decided 9:30pm 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.
Bedtime routines should include getting ready for the next day.
The kids will go brush their teeth and then head to their room. In their room, they lay out their clothes for the next day, read their bible (1 chapter a night), and finish up with prayer time. We then “snuggle” together before lights are out for the kids at 10pm. When the kids are in bed, my husband and I use this opportunity to read the bible together and discuss a couple of verses for at least 10 minutes. Wrapping up, I’ll read my bible devotional, a chapter of a book for personal growth, and then lights go out for us. My husband will play a game or watches a video on his tablet if he doesn’t fall asleep right away!
Going to bed at the same time every night helps us wake up refreshed.
When our family has a consistent schedule every night, waking up is SO much easier. I do struggle with falling asleep at times so if it’s one of those difficult nights, I’ll drink Chamomile tea or continue reading a book.
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 we are getting back to our daily routines! It gives me a peace of mind of 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.
On a final note, I wanted to recommend an article or book that will inspire you to get into new habit/routines and did find an article from Passionate Homemaking suggesting the following free ebook to download. If you have a book or blog post you’d recommend, comment below and I’ll update our readers with more resources.
Have a great bedtime tonight!