Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Parenting Quick Challenge: Bedtime Rituals

When I was young, my mom and I had this bedtime ritual. We did it every night without fail. At the risk of you thinking we were crazy (we were, a little), here's what it was: I would stand on my bed facing my mother, which put me at roughly at the same height as her. We had a little made up song and dance that we did. It lasted maybe ten seconds, max. It involved fist and elbow swinging along with just a tad of hip swaying. I won't sing you the song but suffice it to say that it was silly. Each night after said production, I jumped into the lying position to receive my bedtime story and 'wind down' (one terrible, fateful night, this 'jump' involved me breaking my thumb. That is another post entirely.).

The point is: I'm now twenty-seven years old a grown adult and I still remember it. Even the song. It was 'our thing.' For me as a child, it was predictable. I knew I could count on it as a part of my bedtime routine. It was comforting. Even if I had had a rotten day, singing and dancing with my mom ended it on a good note (get it?! note?! I really should go into comedy...). And it connected me with my mom. I could call my mother up this second and she could sing the song to me. 

Here's the challenge: Create a special bedtime ritual with your child. It does not need to be a full out stage production, just something quick and special that helps you and your child have a special moment at the end of each day. Here are a few ideas:

  • Have special bedtime words, for example: "Goodnight, sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite, and if they do then smack 'em, smack 'em, smack 'em right!"
  • Talk about your favorite thing that happened during the day
  • Talk about what you're looking forward to about tomorrow
What did you come up with? Do you already do this? Tell me about it!


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