The lazy days of summer. Don’t you just love them?
School pressures and routines are a distant memory for kids right now. In the beautiful warm weather, we’re all more relaxed and spontaneous, and able to plan excursions and activities with them.
It’s easy to relax our household routines right now too! This is wonderful for our families but can be chaotic. Routines keep our homes and families running efficiently because everyone knows what’s expected and what’s coming up next.
When it comes to bedtime, I say: stick with routines, no matter what season it is! Relaxed sleep routines can create chaos and invite challenging behavior from our kids.
Here are some tips to enhance bedtime in your family this summer:
- Set up, or tweak your kids’ bedtime routines with their input about what’s best for them! What do they love to do at bedtime?
- A warm bubbly bath.
- A story or two.
- Some thoughtful conversation about all the great stuff that happened that day.
- Planning activities and outfits for the next day.
- And of course, lots of snuggling with parents, pets, siblings, and stuffies.
What unique rituals does your family have at bedtime? Add them to the list!
2. Get your child involved in setting up a comfy and personal sleep space. Ask them what are things they want to do, or create in their room and around their bed to help make help them sleep better?
3. Talk about the benefits of good sleep with your children. If they understand what their job is and how they can help their brain and body, they’ll be on board to follow the routines. Some ideas to discuss include:
- At night, we need to get our bodies ready for sleep, and make sure it’s tired and ready for sleeping.
- Our bodies need sleep just like good nutrition, exercise, and water.
- Our bodies develop and grow when we’re sleeping! While we’re dreaming, our bodies get strong so they can heal injuries, fight illnesses, build up more energy, and grow!
- Our brain needs sleep so we can remember stuff, focus and concentrate better during the day, imagine, and solve problems.
4. Share your dreams with each other in the morning. Before bed, try to predict what you might dream about! Maybe start a dream journal for drawing or write down the dream plot lines. Do both!
Some questions for discussion may include: What are dreams? What are the stories in your head at night? Can you remember them and draw a picture in the morning? These conversations can be very funny!
With any family routine, you’ll get more “buy-in” from your kids if they feel their voices are heard, and their wants and needs are addressed. Ask them what they think, want, and need, and then incorporate their ideas into cozy bedtime activities. Hopefully, if they understand the benefits of sleep, they’ll be motivated to cooperate and embrace healthy habits around this important life skill.
Wishing you and your families sweet dreams and restful sleep this summer.
My tips blend well with many suggestions I share in my first book, Launch Your Kid: How to Promote Your Child’s Academic & Personal Success (without being a helicopter parent), which launched in January 2021.
-buy it today at www.righttrackeducation.ca/shop and use BACKYARDCAMP20 to get 20% off!