Parenting Guru: 5 minutes to a happier child at bedtime

Maybe it's that too many parents are rushing to get their little ones to bed so that they can relax. Maybe it's that the little ones look at bedtime as a bad thing. Maybe it is the fear of the dark or the sounds of the night. All I know is that as long as I've had children, all eighteen years, they have truly enjoyed bedtime. It was never a time of frustration that I longed to avoid. It was never a time that I couldn't wait to be done with. Bedtime was treasured time. While some things in life are a mystery to me, this makes perfect sense.

Bedtime is the one time of day that it is okay to slow down. We may have to rush to make and eat dinner. Bath times aren't necessarily times to luxuriate and relax. Mornings can be crazy and tension filled. Ah, but when it comes to bedtime...the clock stands still. I don't even look at it. We take our time. We make it count.

At bedtime we have our happy routines that provide comfort and stability. Bedtime is the time for books. Plural. We usually pick two or three. There are favorites and a healthy home library to choose from. And when the home library feels stale, we have the huge library down the road we can visit. There are songs at bedtime, too. We sing Disney songs and musicals. We sing classic rock and current hits and whatever comes to mind. There are snuggles and loving galore.

I think what makes my kids happiest at bedtime is the undivided attention. There is nothing more important to me then than being in the moment with my children. I think what makes bedtime go so smoothly is that they don't feel like they are missing out. They go to bed feeling loved and wanted. They have had our time and attention. And there is the promise of a fresh new day. We never have kids begging for one more glass of water, or one more story, or one more hug. We make sure they get all they need and more while they are awake.

What are some of your bedtime routines?

When Nicki isn't savoring snuggle time with her kids, she can be found writing about life, love, parenting and relationships on her blog: Suddenly Single Journey. Her books are available on Amazon.