Does your child have a bed time routine? What does it look like in your family? Today I’m going to talk a little about our bedtime routine and that all important “Pillow Talk” portion of our nightly routine.
I started a routine fairly early for our son. We don’t take a bath every night. I let him choose if he will take a bath (unless he stinks or had an accident) or not and it evens out to every other night. So we start by setting the timer for 5 minutes to give a warning. This time is used to clean up the toys in the family room and get the milk and snack prepared.
When the timer goes off I let him know that bed time is near and we walk to his room. If he is taking a bath I leave his milk and snack in his room and we go to the bath room. If it is a non-bath night, he chooses three books. I always say I will read three books but I usually end up reading 5-6, which is just fine with me. While I am reading he drinks and eats. Snacks are easy, I don’t go all out. Usually it is one of those apple sauce packets that are so popular now or some goldfish crackers.
Once we are done reading he turns off the light and gets his blanket from his bed. We talk for a few moments. This part of the routine is my favorite. I love to cuddle and I love the candid conversations we have. We use low voices and sometimes whisper even. I ask one questions and he answers it. Then I say “I love you, you are a good boy”. I basically want him to know that he is loved and that no matter how much trouble he caused during the day, he is good. He has started to answer “I love you too, you are a good mom.” I know he is modeling me, but it makes me feel good. One night I realized that fuzzy feeling I get when he tells me I’m good is probably the same feeling he gets when he hears me say it. Kids need to hear that they are loved and they are good. It doesn’t matter how mad I was or how much trouble he got into that day. At the end of the day he is a good kid! All kids are good kids, they are just trying to learn and test boundaries.
Pillow talk is important. It opens the lines of communication. I mentioned that I ask one question and he answers it. Sometimes though he asks a question and I provide the answers. He knows that this time is a safe time for him to ask anything. Which is what we parents want, right?
I have written down some of the questions I ask to help you get rolling on your pillow talk time. Remember to keep it to one question a day so they cannot use this as a tool to stall bedtime.
- What did you learn today?
- What was your favorite part of today?
- Did something happen today that you didn’t like?
- Who is the kindest person you know? What makes them kind? Talk about what being kind means.
- Who is your best friend? Why?
- What is your favorite animal?
- If you could fly, where would you go?
- Who is your favorite superhero? How would you help people if you were him?
- What do you want to be when you grow up?
- What is your favorite time of day? Why?