I don't know about you, but our family's days (and evenings) seem to be jam-packed with homework, projects, soccer practice, much-needed free play, chores, showering, eating....the list goes on! Sometimes, we arrive at bedtime, and I look at my family and wonder where the day has gone. I realize that although we may have talked all day, I feel like we have been just existing in our house together, sometimes with little personal interaction. So in our house, no matter how chaotic the rest of the day, BEDTIME IS SACRED.
From the day our kids came home from the hospital, bedtime rituals have been a MUST, not just an afterthought. Everyday, everything at bedtime happens together: baths and showers, picking out and putting on pajamas, brushing teeth, getting water and stuffed animals and books, praying together, reading together, cuddling together. We do not send our kids to do these things alone - we work together as a family.
My favorite part is lying in bed with each child (my husband and I switch kids every other night) and reading and cuddling and talking. Over the years, we have developed several quiet games and activities to keep us talking and sharing. My new favorite is one we call "My 3 Favorites".
After praying and reading and turning out the lights, my daughter and I lie next to each other. One of us starts with the question, "What are your 3 favorite....?" and we finish with something. We each take a turn answering each and then asking another. Some of them are silly, some are serious, some are random (hers in particular - but hey, she's 5!), but all of them teach us about each other. Some of our most recent favorites are:
*ice cream flavors, moments with your friends today, places in your school, pairs of socks, windows in the house (yeah, that was one of hers), reasons to smile, shirts, breakfast foods...
You get the idea. It has become our favorite ritual, and we NEVER skip it. Our kids know that it's as important as brushing our teeth and saying prayers...it's just what we do!
Do you and your family have anything like this? I'd love fresh ideas!