All the books about parenting tell you about the importance of bedtime routines for children. These routines help settle children down for the night as well as prepare them for bed. I found that when I started a bedtime routine for my son, he went to bed easier at night. My daughters also like their bedtime routines. Not only does a bedtime routine help your child, but I also think that it is a significant part of the day for a parent. It is a special time for bonding where you read stories, sing lullabies or say prayers with your child.
When parents put their children to bed, the children are reminded how much they are loved and are left with happy thoughts before they drift off to dream land. I have many fond memories of bedtimes when my parents put me to bed, and I hope to give my children the same memories when they are older. I distinctly remember being read to as a child and being sung to every night.
Growing up, I was lucky enough to have both parents available to say good night every evening. There was about six months of time when my mom lived in a different city for a practicum when she went back to school, and I remember how hard it was not having her there every night. Now that I have my own children, I can imagine it was really hard on her not being able to see my brother and I every night too. When I had my son, my husband was doing shift work and it was really hard on him when he couldn’t say good night to our son at night.
While there are no substitutes for putting your child to bed, there are some options that can make sure you are there to say good night to your child. Here are some ideas that you can use with your children so that they can still see you every night, and you can still feel involved in the bedtime routine.
Lets start with the good old fashion phone call. It’s a great way to say good night to your child. They hear your voice and know you are thinking of them. The disadvantage is that if you are working or out of town, you may not be able to talk to your child at bedtime due to time restraints.
By using Skype and Facetime, parents have the ability to see their children and talk with them when they are away. Of course, like the phone there are limitations with these applications as you have to be available in order to use them. If you are doing shift work or are in a different time zone, it may not be possible for you to be available to say goodnight.
Stories With Your Voice
I always thought these were so cool. You get a story book and record yourself or a loved one as they read the book. It’s such a great idea. Of course, your child can’t see you, but at least they can listen to you read a story before bed. It keeps the parent involved with the bedtime routine, which makes both the child happy and the parent.
Another way to feel present during bedtime is to go through a photo album with your children. That way, they can see their parent and the parent will feel like they are being remembered, even when they aren’t there.
Missing You Books
I wasn’t happy with the options that were available to my son and husband for ways to keep my husband involved in the bedtime routine. So, I decided to find an alternative solution to our problem. I decided to write a bedtime book that lets our son see his Dad being involved in the bedtime routine. The books tell him he is loved and missed by his father and allows him to see photos of him with his dad at bedtime. I’m happy to say that the book was a success.
The book helped Jarrett, my husband, feel like he was involved in the bedtime routine and allowed our son to see him every night. As a nurse, Jarrett wasn’t available to talk to Jack before bed every night, and the book didn’t require him to be available at a certain time. For more information about these books and how to buy them, you can check out www.rachelfawdry.com.