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It’s Just Routine.

Are routines and especially bedtime routines important for our children?  Some may think I go a bit overboard in the routines I have established for my 7 year old who is very hyper and prone to mood swings.   I on the other hand, am reassured that the routines are important, and not just because research supports this, but because my child has her own way of letting me know.  These are some of the signs:

1.  She will often begin to put herself to bed at or near her bedtime without being told, because she is tired and wants to go to bed.

2.  If she goes to bed later than usual, she is much more difficult to deal with in the morning and will often comment, “I’m tired.  I didn’t get enough sleep”.

3.  Sometimes when she is moody and having difficulty controlling her behavior, she recognizes that it’s because she is tired or there has been some other change of routine she is not used to, and she will say so.  She will say, I should have…..regarding something in her routine.

4.  She no longer has to take medications for her behaviors, and behavior issues at school are becoming rare.

5. When I am tired, and want to ditch the usual bedtime routine that she and I have done every night for the past few years, (I hope she will just go to bed without it, but NO)….she always remembers and she says “Mommie, aren’t you going to sing the song”.   That lets me know that these routines are a comfort and joy to her, and I gladly comply with her request.

Here is our unique bedtime ritual which is a song I made up for her when she was much younger.

I’m tired…so tired!
I just wanna go to bed,
Lay my head on my pillow.
Cuz I’m tired!
But first I’ll shake my cares,
Say my prayers…
(child inserts prayer here)
Love you Jesus!!!
I’m so tired!
It’s time to warm my toes
Underneath all my covers,
Tuck me tight
(tucks/hugs/kisses)
Get the light.
(Lights off)
Now, shh…shh…good night.

This is such a simple and quick routine (depending on how long a prayer she wants to say), but oh so special between us.  Sometimes it’s the little things that we are consistent about that make the most impact in our children’s daily lives.

Prayer for Your children: May they know the love and comfort of a parent who teaches them the importance of routines and consistency.  May acknowledgement of God and simple prayer time be included in what they learn to treasure as part of daily family life.                                                                         
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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