My awesome husband usually puts my four-year old to bed, and I enjoy the time to myself, typically putting away laundry, periodically checking on my snoozing daughter in the nursery. This quiet time hasn’t been as peaceful recently, however. I have a monitor in my bedroom, and I can hear how things are going downstairs. My son begs for more stories, more water, more “check-ins.” Frustration growing with each new request and complaint. “DADDY…I’m really hot.” “DADDY…I’m really cold.” “DADDY…I have to go potty.” Being somewhat of a compulsive planner, I decided it was time to make a new plan for bedtime.
My son recently moved into a bigger bed, and I figured it was a perfect opportunity for a more structured routine. So, on Sunday night, instead of doing dishes, my husband and I started crafting a plan. We talked about what time our routine should start, what we were already doing, and how we wanted to structure the new plan. I consulted my son, trying to involve him in the process. I asked him, “would you like to put your jammies on before or after we read you a book?” After that, I wrote it all down, and we started following the plan. We are only a few nights into it, but so far, things are working out pretty well. It isn’t a perfect solution, but it is better than what we were doing before. We all know what to expect, and he is going to bed a bit earlier, which leaves a bit more time for my husband and I to hang out.
If you don’t have a system that works well for you, here are some ideas to try.
3 steps to a better bedtime
1. Talk it over: Discuss the optimal routine with everyone involved, be as specific as possible.
2. Write it out: After you’ve talked and made a plan. Write it down. (You can even type it up if you want to make it look more official) Even though my son can’t read yet, he responds really well to seeing things on paper.
3. Follow the plan: We have placed the “Bedtime Plan” in a specific location, and every night we read through the steps and do them in order. You can see a condensed version of our plan below.
an unconventional form of service
As one who relishes routine, I enjoy hearing my son follow our new plan through the monitor. I hope it will continue to make bedtime better as we get more accustomed to following it. I’m constantly trying to serve my family is by working to maintain sanity and order. It is hard to love each other really well if we are getting frustrated on a nightly basis. My family and I have benefited from this new routine, and I hope yours will too. Do you have any bedtime struggles at your house? Are there any strategies you use that help? Please share them with us, and if you’d like daily ideas on sharing kindness, follow us on Instagram. Also, if you are interested, click here to start a Family Service Club of your own. Thanks for reading, and let’s go love others on purpose.