Bedtime, it's all about routine
I love bedtime. No really, I do and I don’t mean my bedtime but bedtime for the kids. It’s a time of family togetherness that ends the day perfectly. There is no screaming, bargaining for five more minutes or general debauchery in my house. I rule with an iron fist, of course, how else is this possible?
Actually there is no need to use the iron fist (for bedtime anyway). What makes it work so well is that we have a set bedtime, always have, 8pm or bust. Naturally it’s flexible, for special occasions, but 95% of the time, the kids are in bed by 8-ish. This gives us much needed adult time, you know, for sanity maintenance.
We achieved this harmonious bedtime by setting a routine early. When our first son was a toddler we began the very routine we still use today, bath (minus the Johnson’s baby lotion - turns out my eight and five year old boys are not quite as enamored by it as I am, what gives?), stories with a snack and bedside lullaby.
When our second son came along, he plunked right into the same routine and we never looked back. The routine creates predictability, there are no unknowns and no need to bargain since it is always the same. They know what’s coming and so do we by creating a happy ending to a busy day.
I wonder how long my off key, out of tune rendition of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star will fly?