As my 3 children get older and we go through this bedtime routine, I’ve noticed many gaps in how we connect.
I thought it would be helpful to share some ideas for how to make this time special for you and your child.
Have a discussion before bed
Before bed is a great time to have conversations with your children. Here are some ideas for starting the conversation:
- Ask them about their day at school, what they did with friends, what they learned about and if anything interesting happened.
- Ask them what their favorite subject in school is and talk about why it’s so interesting for them (or you).
- Talk about their favorite sport or playground activity that they like to do after school.
There’s something magical about praying together, especially when it comes to bedtime prayers. It’s a bonding opportunity that helps you bond with your child and also gives them a sense of security knowing that God is there with them on their journey through life.
Praying for them can be a great way to discuss what they are grateful for or how they feel about certain things in their lives as well as having transparent conversations about things that may be difficult for them at the moment.
Talk about tomorrow
You can talk about tomorrow in many ways.
- What will you do together?
- What did you do today?
- What are you looking forward to? (If it is something they have been waiting for, like a birthday party)
- What are your worries about tomorrow? (If, for example, it is a day at school or another kind of first time experience.)
Share a book
This is the classic way to connect with your child before bedtime. You can either read a book together or you can ask them to read to you. If they are old enough, encourage them to read their favorite story from one of their books or ask them if they would like to read a story from one of yours.
See also: 12 Books about Kindness that Kids Love
Work on a puzzle
Puzzles are a great way to spend time together as a family. Besides the obvious benefit of spending quality time with your child, they can also help improve their memory and concentration skills. Puzzles can be educational because they teach children how to follow instructions and use logic, which will make them better leaders later in life.
Plus, puzzles are just plain fun! If you don’t own any puzzles yet, look for ones with bright colors or pictures that have animals on them—the more cute animals involved, the better!
Look back on the day
If you have time, it’s nice to look back on the day. It can be easy to get caught up in what’s next, but if you take a moment to reflect on how things are going and why, it will help you make better decisions about priorities.
When you’re talking with your child about their day, it’s important that they know that they’re not just giving information out of obligation—they should also be able to express themselves openly and talk about how they see things as well.
To make them feel comfortable doing so, ask open-ended questions like “What was one thing that happened today?” or “What did we learn today?” and let them speak at length before chiming in yourself. This way, they’ll feel like they’ve been heard while also learning something new from their own experiences!
Connecting with your child before bedtime is a great way to help them relax, but it can also be a bonding experience between you. The key thing is that you make an effort to engage in this time together and that the activities are age-appropriate.
For example, if your child is still very young then reading or singing together may be more appropriate than playing games or doing puzzles. If both parents want to participate in these activities then it’s even better! It’s important for parents not only concern themselves with their own needs but also those of their children so make sure that bedtime doesn’t become another stressful event for both parties involved.