A bedtime ritual is more than just a structural requirement for childrens’ lives. In fact, bedtime rituals can help families grow closer and better understand each other, among other things. What kinds of practices do you engage in before bed? Storytime? Talking about your day? Praying together? Maybe you don’t have a bedtime routine, but you’d like to learn more about how useful it can be?
Today, we’re going to talk about how using a bedtime ritual will help improve your family’s wellbeing. Whether you’re a new family who just had their first baby, a blended family with different cultural backgrounds, or a traditional nuclear-type family, these are the reasons to create a bedtime ritual.
Unity is something the world could use more of, but since we can’t exactly unite the planet, we’ll just have to settle for uniting our family members. This is where tradition and belief systems come into play, but believe it or not, even something like a simple bedtime routine can actually help increase the unity among your family members.
Eating together, praying together, and engaging in bedtime rituals are great ways to bring the family together. Maybe you like to read your favorite scripture or stories before bedtime. Or, maybe you sit down and really listen to what your kids have to say about their day. When kids feel they can talk to their parents, they’re much more likely to open up about difficult topics.
Bedtime should be a sacred and protected time of the day. Form a tradition that your kids will remember and may even pass down to their children. Maybe you’ll have hot cocoa before bed—it’s completely up to you.
Why is unity so important in a family? Not only does unity bring everyone together to solve problems, but it also shows kids how healthy, unified groups interact with each other. A truly unified family has good communication skills, respect for one another, and healthy boundaries that everyone understands and follows. These are lessons that will follow children well into adulthood, and the value of such lessons can’t be overstated.
The bottom line? Unifying your family is good for everyone, and bedtime is a great time to introduce some new traditions to unify the family.
Getting To Know Family Members
Sometimes, the hustle and bustle of modern life causes us to fall out of touch with our family members. We may not know who they are, what they like, or what is bringing them pain. This is an upsetting but all-too-familiar thing with modern families. Families simply don’t know each other as well anymore.
Spending some quality time together before bed is a good way to address this problem. Not everyone will be thrilled (can you say ‘teenagers’?), but it’s still important to do it anyway. A good rule of thumb is to spend time with your kids on their terms. Maybe they want to play a board game before bed, pick the story this time, or show you something they found on the internet earlier that made them laugh.
Getting to know who you’re living with can help minimize arguments and disagreements, as well. It’s important to know people so that you can understand when and why they’re upset. You may not even realize something you did or said was harmful!
Prayer and Spirituality
Prayers, meditation, or other spiritual practices before bed can help bring the family together under a common belief system. You can say a prayer to help sleep, meditate together to destress, or even pray for good fortune in the coming days. There’s an old saying that goes, “The family that prays together, stays together.” While this is certainly dependent on your own beliefs, there is some truth to a healthier family being one that is spiritual together.
It’s always best to start out slowly with any new practices. Older children might resist a sudden change if they’re unfamiliar with it, but that’s ok! Eventually, they’ll come around and understand that you’re doing something very important for their spiritual health.
Structure and Discipline
One of the most important reasons to stick to a bedtime ritual is to reinforce structure and discipline in your kiddos. Kids need structure and consistency for a sense of security and to feel “at home”. If you’re consistent with your rituals, they’ll know exactly what to expect, and they’ll become more disciplined in delivering on their end of things. If you expect them to be ready by a certain time, they’ll eventually fall into a natural rhythm and it will become like second nature to them.
You’ll also help make them more punctual and less impulsive. Kids are naturally impulsive and curious, and while there’s nothing wrong with that, as they grow older, they have to learn that there’s a time and a place for impulsiveness.
Make Bedtime Fun!
Bedtime doesn’t have to a be a boring, monotonous routine all the time. While you should still stick to a schedule and specific things to reinforce that structure and discipline we just talked about, you can still make it fun for the kids. Be sure to include your spiritual practices in the pre-bedtime ritual, and don’t be afraid to ask about their day.