Create a Bedtime Routine That Fits Your Family’s Needs
Do you struggle with a bedtime routine for your kids? The Bedtime “Battle” as I call it.
Arguably the most discussed topic among parents and source of frustration revolves around bedtime/sleep. And now with my youngest being 8, I had subconsciously checked that off my list of parenting issues. We’ve always had a special bedtime routine – lots of snuggles, giggles, and connection time. However, recently I’ve noticed something new with my son; a frustrated energy and anxiety in him especially at bedtime. While he and his two older sisters did well with my caresses, lullabies, and storytelling, apparently now he needed something else.
To be honest, when I first noticed the struggle I was a bit irritated. I had worked hard and was very intentional to create a bedtime that was enjoyable, connective, and peaceful. It’s a struggle to not get super annoyed at bedtime when all of a sudden your son has this ramping up of explosive energy and this tired single mom has to try to be calm. For a while I ignored, it hoping it was a phase, but one night was particularly rough. My go-to tools were just not working and I sensed a huge battle was imminent- even as I was encouraging him to be calm, I was about to lose it. In a moment of desperation, or maybe it was parenting brilliance, I asked him if he wanted to have a pillow fight. He paused, looked at me with a huge smile on his face, and nailed me with his pillow. It was on!
We spent the next 10 minutes in a “battle” that produced deep belly laughs, the release of pent-up energy/emotion, and a knocked over a pile of perfectly folded laundry (my fault for not putting it away right after it was folded). After that, he quickly fell asleep feeling peaceful, understood, and maybe a tad sweaty (whatever, totally worth it).
That night was such a turning point for both of us. I earned more trust in his eyes when he saw that his “negative” behavior would be met with understanding and adaptability, versus shame and blame. He saw that I will not only fully enjoy and embrace the wonderful parts of him, but I will help navigate and work through the harder parts. And I was reminded of the beauty and growth that can come from staying calm, curious, and thinking outside the typical punishment system. It also produced a different night time routine that better fits his current needs. And honestly, it’s lots of fun. I encourage you to find a bedtime routine that fits the needs of your family
Sending loving and peaceful nighttime energy your way. And just in case you don’t have anyone in your life telling you this: you’re amazing and your children are blessed to have you…we’ve got this.