Over the years as a family, we’ve found that our children are often influenced by forces from outside of our home sometimes even more than they are by forces from within. This has required us to become more intentional to not only invest into our kids, but also into strengthening our influence and investment into them on a daily basis.
And one of the best ways we’ve found to do that is through prioritizing one of the most precious and protected times of our day – bedtime.
Those moments in our home just before the kids are sent to bed are often some of the most precious moments we have together as a family. Its a time where we talk, we pray, we laugh, we share, we hug… and it’s a wonderful time that our family enjoys and anticipates.
Why? Because counter to the noisy and busy world our families live in every day, the bedtime routine can become a warm and close environment that is both safe and relaxed, much the opposite of the rest of the day. It’s a time where we can get personal, and it’s a time where we can sometimes get biblical.
Oftentimes its serious, and other times it’s far from serious, but all in all, it’s a time where we can just be ourselves and tackle some of life’s issues together.
And don’t be fooled into believing that it comes easily… it doesn’t. In fact, unless you prioritize this time as a family, things that are most urgent will crowd out things that are most important, and it may never happen.
If you haven’t established any bedtime routines in your home, I’d encourage you to consider trying some of these memorable ideas and the beneficial byproducts of a healthy bedtime routine:
- Storytelling. Kids love stories. Especially when you personally tell them the story or read it aloud to them. They can be stories from books, stories from your past, or simply stories from your imagination.
- Scripture Memorization. What better way to memorize a verse or passage than together as a family, and help your children hide God’s Word in their hearts? (Psalm 119:11)
- Quality Conversation. Most families struggle to have real, quality, family conversation. But what easier way to do it than to have a time scheduled and set aside for it to happen. Don’t worry, just start with a verse, a thought, or a question, and let the conversation flow from there. Try it, it really is easier than you think.
- Spiritual Investment. There’s really nothing more important that investing into our kids spiritually. So use this time for family devotions, teaching different character traits, discussing Bible stories, or talking about the Gospel.
- Personal Environment. Make this time just before closing out your family’s day a close and relaxed time that they look forward to. Have a plan, but don’t turn it into a church service either. 😃
- Singing Songs. Families need to sing together, both in corporate worship, and in private worship. When’s the last time your family sang together in your own home? Believe me, your kids will love it, especially if you let them pick some of the songs.
- Showing Affection. Nothing says I love you like a bear hug, a kiss on the forehead, and the spoken words, “I love you”, to close out your child’s day.
- Tucking In. Tucking your kids in at night (especially if they’re still young) can be a huge deal to them, and put their mind at ease just before the lights go out, and a perfect opportunity for one last hug, kiss, or even the piggy toes.
- Using a Personal Routine or Phrase. Consider coming up with a personal phrase between you and each child, or maybe a nickname, a special handshake, etc. Whatever you do, the fact that it’s unique and personal to them makes all the difference and communicates love to them.
Bedtime… you may just find out for yourself that if you prioritize it, it has the potential to become one of the most memorable and beneficial times in your home as well.