We’re dealing with one of the flashpoints in daily living with children: bedtime bedlam. Here are some more helpful guidelines.
Keep it short
Try to keep preparation time to about thirty minutes. If prep time takes too long it can allow more time for complaining and negotiating. It will be very frustrating if the entire evening is bedtime prep.
After being blessed, children can ask for a cup of water two or three times, saying that they are thirsty. Be sure that a drink of water (if necessary) is part of the prep time and not an afterthought, which interrupts bedtime.
Eventually, bedtime prep will become a habit and routine. Lord willing, all you will have to say is “get ready for bed” and the process begins.
When I babysit my grandkids, all I have to say is “get ready for bedtime” and they are really good about getting ready for bedtime. No bedtime bedlam whatsoever. It makes caring for them easy and pleasant. This just doesn’t happen by chance, it takes training.
Keep it happy
As they lay in bed, speak a word of affirmation into their lives. Smile and snuggle with them. Read them a story. Pray together. Finally, bless them with a word and a touch. When our children were growing up, they looked forward to this portion of bedtime.
Make bedtime a happy time. Help make their final thoughts before they fall asleep pleasant.
I sometimes wonder when I hear an adult say that they have a hard time going to bed or falling asleep, if they experienced a childhood filled with bedtime bedlam. Just a thought, no conclusions.
Regardless, it is good to remember that if you “train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6).
Something to think and pray about …