Some of my fondest memories are of the time spent with my kids at bed time. When I wasn’t home to tuck the kids into bed Jan would. We both understood that spending time with our kids at bed time was important. I loved tucking them into bed at night. Sometimes Jan needed to remind me that the goal of bed time was to help the kids to relax and go to sleep rather than to play goof around.
When the time came for our kids to go to bed it was met with some resistance. There were several things we did to try to make bed time a positive experience. We read books, sang, played with a flashlight under their blankets and provided back rubs while telling pretend stories. Sometimes the person (me) telling the stories would fall asleep first. When this happened my kids had to kick me out of their own bed.
As our kids got older the stories stopped, but we continued to offer back rubs. When the lights were out, and the kids were getting relaxed, they would start to share some details about their life and relationships. These were precious moments listening to them share from their heart, disappointments, challenges and victories. These conversations were not forced or manipulated. When kids feel safe and cared for they are less reluctant to share honestly from their heart what kinds of pressures they are experiencing in life and how they are feeling related to those experiences.
Parents need to make time for bed time with their kids or it will be a missed opportunity to let them know how much you care. The convenient thing to do as a parent is to tell your kids from the easy chair, “it’s time for bed!” Then when the kids aren’t moving toward bed the convenient thing to do is to yell at them “get going” from the easy chair with no intension of making bedtime something for your kids to look forward to. Every child desires to cuddle, giggle, sing, or play with a flashlight with their mommy or daddy at their side. Bed time is a great time to let your child know how much you love them.