Bedtime routine with our four children, aged six and under, was extremely stressful for me (even with my husband’s help). It was chaotic. He’s telling one kid to do this, I’m telling another kid to do that… and so on. It felt like a battle every night to get each child to do what they’re suppose to do. Two very simple things can turn into stress: getting their teeth brushed and getting to bed.
With my husband and I putting our brains together, we came up with two solutions. One solution was to get our children to brush their teeth in a timely manner. The other solution is one that gets our children into bed very quickly, stress-free!
Getting a 6, 5, 3 year old, plus a 20 month old to brush their teeth right before bed was a BIG MISTAKE.
We now have our children brush their teeth 30 – 60 minutes before actual bedtime.
Once this is accomplished, it’s then out of the way and we don’t have to battle with them brushing their teeth at ‘bedtime’. You could even motive your children with an activity after the teeth are brushed. (Which can help with the no fooling around in the bathroom.) Sometimes we tell our children they can watch a short movie, or that we will read to them, or play a game right before the actual bedtime.
An added tip… only let one child in the bathroom at a time. If you have two bathrooms, take advantage of using them. If your children are like our little ones, they can easily get distracted by each other in doing just one simple task.
A RACE TO THE BEDS
My husband came up with this unique way in getting our children to bed. He is always thinking outside the box and coming up with unique creative things to do with the children.
When we say it’s bedtime, the children race to their beds!
When we announce that it’s time to go to bed, our three older children instantly race up to their beds. If they are in bed before we get up there to tuck them in, they get a piggy back ride on dad’s back. Each child (that went right to bed) gets to hop on dads back, he runs down the stairs and up again, and puts them back on their bed, taking turns with each of them. It might seem like extra work on dad’s part (or mom’s), but we are having fun with the children in the midst of the children being obedient. No more saying it’s time for bed with the stress of making sure each child is actually getting in to bed.
It only took a few times for each of them to know that we were serious about this. Yes, each child experienced that one time not of listening and was the only one that did not get a piggy back ride that night. Yes, they cried and were upset, but once they saw that we were holding to our words, they chose not make that choice again.
We pray over our children and then child speaks their Declarations out loud.
NO MORE STRESS AT BEDTIME! (Plus, the children get to have fun while going to bed.)
Have you found any strategies for bedtime that work in your home? Please share in the comments below.