snooze time ritual
Jan 24, 2000 Write an essay on this topic.
I am a mom of three children. I think that qualifies me as a veteran of the bedtime rigamaroll (my dad's favorite word) .
My daughter (now 15) was my learning experience. She was an expert at putting mom to sleep and spending a little late night TV time with dad. I tried the lullaby, the endless back tickling, a dozen bedtime books, and endless other methods of getting her to sleep. As a nursing baby, she gagged on bottles and when weaned I was at a loss. I remember having company over and leaving, "just for a moment" to put her to bed. That was the last I remember. She effectively put me to sleep and crawled over me to go and enjoy my company.
My boys are two years apart and 6 years younger than my daughter. I resolved not to repeat my earlier bedtime experiences with them. I read somewhere that a ritual is helpful at bedtime. The consistency is soothing and helps children to settle in for a good night's sleep. So I tried it with my boys.
Our ritual consists of a bedtime drink, I tickle their backs while I count aloud to 20. ( I started at 10 then realized that kindergardeners need to be able to count to 20) I never give a few more tickles. They know that 20 is the limit. We end up with a special kiss. Forehead, chin, cheek, cheek, nose and lips. Then it's goodnight, mom, and I turn out the hall light and they are out in a couple of minutes.
I don't expect that our ritual is right for everybody, I only know that it works for us. You make your own ritual, but stick to it! I would get exasperated sometimes at the tediousness of it all, but it was important to my boys to have the consistency.
My oldest son has outgrown the full ritual, but still wants me to tuck him in with a kiss and a hug. The best way for me and my kids to end the day! My youngest still wants the full treatment and my oldest doesn't tease him about it. I guess he is starting to grow up. Sniff, sniff!!
I enjoy the end of the day so much more now. I feel more in control, and my kids are satisfied with my attention. How can you beat that?
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