For most parents (including me), their kids' bedtime is a glorious and magical time of day. You have had a long day of having to be all about someone else (or a bunch of someone elses)....and the sun is setting...and now it's about to be "you time". So, in all the excitement for you to get a moment to yourself, you may want to rush through bedtime....no judgment, I TOTALLY get it and am guilty of this myself. Well, I've found that even though this idea makes bedtime a little longer, it's totally worth the time investment.
I started doing this with my son (my oldest) when he was almost 2. I would lay in my bed with him at night, and say, "Do you want to hear all the people that love you?", and of course he did. Then I would start saying, "Mumma loves you, Daddy loves you, you love you (because I wanted to instill in him that he should love himself also)...." And I would literally list every family member he had every met, every family friend he had ever met, every kid and their parent he had ever met. It was a long list to name every person he knew. Then, I would end with, "Jesus loves you, Mother Mary loves you, your guardian angel loves you, and everybody else you know loves you."
Why did I give myself this really long bedtime task?
1. It totally made him feel like sooooooooooooooooo many people love him and it made him feel special and like the world is a wonderful place. And that's the way you want your kid to feel right before they fall asleep.
2. That end of the list is a good way to incorporate religion for this age. I kept it simple, and only about how God loves him. I want to give him a positive outlook on religion. Obviously, if you're not the same religion as me, you can just replace this with your own religious figures. All religions teach positivity and love. Unless you are a member of the Church of Satan. Then, please don't replace it with "Satan loves you".....(shudder).
3. It made me feel like an awesome mom.
Now, did I do this every night? No. Of course there are nights where I just want to get to the me-time because, duh, I'm human. But I would really try to make the effort a lot of the time. I try to do this with my daughter too. I don't do it nearly as much as I did for him (cue the mom guilt) because now there are 2 of them and I'm worn out earlier in the day/evening than before, but when I do it for her, she has a big smile and I can tell she feels so good to hear it.
So, that's my parenting idea for the day!
Until next time....