Monday, February 15, 2010

Bedtime Rituals

By the time children reach toddlerhood, most parents have learned that the best way to manage them is through routine. Children (and most adults) thrive when they know what to expect, and routines also give a sense of security. At no time is this more true than at bedtime.

Getting children to sleep can be a real struggle. Their little minds race and the thought of missing even a moment of the action can seem like torture to them. Having a sweet, simple ritual for bedtime will help them settle down even when they don't want to admit to themselves they are tired.

A bedtime ritual can take the form of a story, a prayer, or singing songs. Some families make their own fun little rituals that are unique to them. For example, one family I know recites names of the members of their family tree, and sometimes tells stories about these different relatives which fascinate the children and give them a history lesson to boot.

The nighttime rituals can also include performing the same actions before bed. Your little one can brush their teeth, get a drink of water in a special cup, and get clothes ready for the next morning.

How ever you choose to structure your children's bed time, never forget that even the most mundane activities can be memorable and give you a chance to bond with them.

What kinds of bed time rituals do you have with your children?

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