About the time that dinner ends each evening, I crash. My energy runs out, and I want nothing more than to get the kids into bed and sit down. Bedtime is a special time for little ones, and a golden opportunity to wrap up your day. It’s hard to embrace it for what it is when you need a break.
On those nights when I’m particularly tired, I’m tempted to skip elements of bedtime. Whether it be brushing teeth, reading a story, singing a song, or even family prayers, I always tell myself the lie that we can just do it tomorrow. I easily believe that one night won’t make a difference, but in a way, it does.
Bedtime routines aren’t just about the boxes getting checked, it’s a time for us all to be together. It’s a time to take care of each other emotionally, physically, and spiritually. It’s a subtle signal to tired little bodies that the day is done and it’s time to dream of angels.
Being consistent as a parent is the hardest thing to do, but it’s the most important thing to do. Building a framework for your children’s days helps them to know where they are and where they stand. If you brush their teeth every morning and every evening, they know that it’s something important to do. The same is true with family prayers and reading a story.
Consistency requires energy, but more importantly, it requires discipline. Perhaps it’s time for me to look at my schedule and see how I can preserve energy for another 15 minutes at the end of their day to ensure a smooth transition into bed.