A wonderful lady writes an article for our school newsletter each week and I just had to share some of it. It really hit home for me. My guys are teenagers now and I hardly ever go in and say goodnight to them anymore cause I'm usually so busy at that time. They just put themselves to bed now. So I read this, and last night I tucked Emma in and we talked for a bit. It was good.
"It doesn't matter how old your children are; tucking them into bed or saying goodnight can be a real bonding time. It is usually a time when the child is relaxed and willing to share or talk about things.
I know on many occasions I have been in a rush to get the children in my care into bed. I just wanted them to lie down so that I could get on with my projects, tasks, or even possibly - get to bed myself. When I do that - those are wasted times for both me and the children.
My heart truly loves taking a few extra minutes with them at bedtime. I often will lie down next to them and cuddle. One of the children, a 9 year old, uses this time to ask me every question under the sun.
"Do you like red or purple better?"
"Do all planets have moons?"
“What was the nationality of the first person born?”
“If all the water dried up in the world, would we be one country?”
Things that I haven't even really taken the time to think through!
It's a great time to instil morals, values, and most of all too simply love the children. I like to hold them tightly, caress their faces and stroke their hair. For they will be older all too soon and their bedroom door will be closed to all. I pray that these times I take with them now - will keep that door open to me in the future.
Bedtime can be a really rushed time. It can be a time to usher the children out of our sight. (By the way, I have found the children don't settle down as well when I do this but instead - when I take time with them at night, they feel more secure and readily go off to sleep!)
You can choose to enjoy the bedtime ritual with your children. Even if they are teens, sit on the edge of their bed and talk softly with them for a few minutes. Hug them and let them know you love them.
This is a valuable time of day. Slow down and enjoy it. Take in the moment. It is too easily overlooked."