Do you have a child that likes to extend bedtime as much as they can? With the goal at Meaningful Mama to equip and inspire, I want to bring you a bedtime solution for your procrastinator. I also want to share with you the bedtime routine that works for us.
I want to confess that I fall into the group of moms that does the routine, but I try and make it as quick as possible. At bed time all I want my kids to do is go to bed and stay in bed. I’ve been doing the mom thing all day. I now want time to focus on being a spouse and having some down time to collect my own thoughts and have some quiet.
I have been trying to become a mom that cuddles just a little longer. I have heard, from older and more experienced moms, that these later hours are often the time where children are willing to open up and really talk. Now that my kids are getting a bit older, I am wanting to extend the time with them a bit longer to really have one-on-one time and to really listen. I still want to hurry down to be with my husband but cuddling a little longer with the goal to build into that relationship better is important too.
Our Bedtime Routine
Before I share my bedtime solution for your procrastinator, I want to provide you with our bedtime routine that also eliminates procrastination. Our experience is that establishing a bedtime routine helps give kids a sense of security, belonging and family rhythm. Further, it helps with your procrastinator. If you follow a routine, they can no longer ask for water or say they need to go potty. It has been taken care of already. They also begin to know what to expect at bedtime. Here’s what we include in our routine:
- Brush Teeth – We all know the importance of dental care. Making the experience kid friendly is important to keep interest. I can’t tell you the squeals excitement coming from my son when we received our Orajel™ PAW Patrol™ Anticavity Fluoride Toothpaste and PAW Patrol™ Toothbrush. Providing a fun and trusted toothbrush and toothpaste with characters they love makes things exciting for kids. Orajel™ PAW Patrol™ products are a great way to transition your little ones to fluoride toothpaste to help protect against cavities to keep young teeth and gums healthy.
One tip for brushing teeth is to have kids sing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” in their head 4 times while brushing their teeth. This should get them to about 2 minutes of brushing. Have them brush 1/4 of their mouth for each time they sing it.
- Potty – Make sure each child visits the potty before tucking them in. There may be incidents where they need to go again. This second potty trip can become bad habit and a method of procrastination too. We began to say, “I’m coming with you to the potty. If you don’t go there will be no.. (fill in the blank – TV, treats, iPad time, etc.) tomorrow.” This should eliminate the manipulation.
- Drink of Water – “I’m thirsty!” is a common procrastination technique. Take care of the thirst before they go to bed. Try and get most drinking done earlier in the evening to limit bed time accidents. However, we offer a bit of a drink before hitting the sack.
- Read a Book – Reading a book is a wonderful way to end the evening. It sets a calm in your home and provides a great opportunity for discussion and imagination. Scholastic contains tons of resources to get parents and kids excited about reading, including a free Scholastic e-book called The Three Bees, the 100 Best Read-Aloud Books, and essential articles from the editors of Scholastic Parents. As you cuddle up to read with your kids, you will bond with them in a special way, help them learn to be a more fluent reader and help them to develop a love for books. The Three Bees emphasize the importance of bedtime routines by focusing on 3 simple steps: Brush, Book and Bed (all included in my more extended routine here).
- Pajamas – Time to change into our pajamas. That said, I have a confession to make. We often do showers in the afternoon. Often, mornings are rushed. Sometimes my kids will throw their school clothes on and sleep in them. Shhh! Don’t tell anyone.
- Pick Out Clothes – If we aren’t already in our clothes for the next day, I have my kids pick out outfits. This eliminates a step in the morning, since mornings tend to feel rushed.
- Prayer – Bedtime is a time for us to thank the LORD for all His blessings, ask for prayer requests and seek forgiveness. Kids can choose to listen to us pray or offer up prayer themselves.
- Bed – It’s time for bed! Sounds simple, right? But if you have a procrastinator you know that even though you dotted your i’s and crossed your t’s they are still going to try and make the process longer.
Bedtime Solution for your Procrastinator
I want to now share with you a bedtime solution for your procrastinator. One way my kids procrastinate at bedtime, since all their other needs have been met, is to ask questions or say “one more thing.” I can’t tell you how many times I hear, “One more thing!” What we do is allow three more statements or questions once the routine is finished. This normally occurs as I am walking out the door, so I can pause and give them an opportunity to voice what is on their mind. This is not a prolonged time, unless the child is really struggling with something particular and needs to talk. The tip allows a few more statements or questions at bedtime and is really for that kid that you can tell is just procrastinating.
Allowing these final statements, I find, gives them a sense of finality, being heard and prevents them from yelling at you with “one more thing.”
Hopefully, this procrastination tip combined with a solid bedtime routine will make this time with your kids more enjoyable and give them a sense of rhythm at night.
This post was sponsored by Orajel™. The opinions and text are all mine.