Establishing a good nighttime routine can be difficult for families with children of all ages. If you start introducing a routine early in life, your kids may be more likely to stick to a routine later in life. Establishing a routine that keeps your household running smoothly can be a challenge at first, but doing so will result in that peace you desire and deserve. Keep in mind that you are the adult and the children are children. They are not in charge of the household. You are.
The Importance of Sufficient Rest
We all need sleep in order to function well. An important part of your nighttime routine is establishing a consistent bedtime. Enough sleep is vital for your success and the success of your children. Set them up to experience life’s victories by planning for enough rest.
Establish a routine that your children can expect to experience at the same time every day. For instance, if your “getting ready for bed” routine takes approximately 1 hour and you want your children in bed by 8 o’clock, you’ll want to consistently start your nighttime routine around 7 PM.
Set up a sequence of activities that you do in the same order right before bedtime each night. That way, your children know what to expect and when it’s time to wind down for bed.
- Start your nighttime routine with hygiene. Start with bath time, and allow a little extra time for your children to play. Make the bedtime routine as fun as possible for your children. After bath time, have your children brush their teeth.
- Next, build some special bonding time into your routine. Younger children might enjoy an evening walk in the stroller. It might help to relax them and help them become drowsy. Older children may appreciate some one-on-one time with mom or dad. Sometimes just letting them chat way while you say nothing much, but just listen attentively may be what they need to relax.
- Read to your children right before bedtime. Choose a shorter book if your kids are younger. Your children will soon look forward to story time and recognize this as a signal that the day is coming to an end.
- Sing a lullaby or say goodnight to your children in your own special way. Your children will remember the evening routine for a lifetime, and will likely carry it forward in life with their own children. In addition to providing structure and a way to lower the stress level in your home, your evening routine will show your kids that you love and appreciate them. And this will provide you with some very precious memories after they are grown.
- Finally, ensure your children use the bathroom just before being tucked in for the night. This eliminates an excuse to get up and provides another signal that bedtime, and sleep time, has now arrived.
Multiple Nighttime Routines
If you have multiple children of different ages, it’s still important to establish a routine. While your children will be going to bed at different times, you can still use those times to bond with each other and wind down for the evening. Plan your routine to accommodate multiple bedtimes if necessary.
Older children can also help with some of the younger ones. The important thing is that everything gets done in an orderly and consistent manner and that your family takes time to be together and enjoy each other.
Bless your family by establishing a nighttime routine. Stick to it in the beginning, and you’ll soon notice that the routine is second nature. Automatically, you’ll be bonding every night and getting everything done with a minimum amount of stress. Begin experiencing the order and peace that you deserve by starting a nighttime routine today.