Since day dot, we’ve been religious about bedtime routines and stories but somewhere along the line, over the last few months, it has fallen by the way side and we’ve dropped the ball.
We’ve always put all three children in bed at the same time but, because of various extra curricular activities and them generally just being bigger, the routines have changed to adapt to that. Ben and Chloe often put themselves to bed when they get home from dance / swimming / Cubs… They don’t need me to go help them put their pj’s on, sort their school uniform or tuck them in. They are quite happy to read to themselves and turn off their light at the right time.
And somehow this has fed through to Amy. There’s no way when Ben or Chloe were five I’d have expected them to put themselves to bed but often we send Amy upstairs to bed without us – perhaps asking Ben and Chloe to help her out and read a bedtime story. Sometimes this works, other times not. Sometimes she faffs and messes about for ages or shouts downstairs and we get cross. But I’ve realised perhaps we’re not being fair to her. Perhaps at 5, she needs that structured bedtime routine more than we realised and we’re letting her down.
Since realising this, I’ve tried to make her bedtime more routine again, to go upstairs with her and help her get ready for bed – help her to brush her teeth, get her pjs on and make sure she’s got her things ready for school the next morning. Sometimes I read to her, sometimes she chooses to ask Google for a story instead. I can’t deny it’s a bit of a pain at the moment, she faffs and messes about and I lose my patience but I’m hoping that we can make it a nice time of day again.
How does the bedtime routine pan out in your house? Do you stick to it religiously? Have your children out grown it now?