Monday, January 4, 2010

Hints for Bedtime Routine

Hubby typically takes care of the bedtime routine.  By that time of the day, I'm cashed - tired of dealing with Mr. Intensity's antics.  I'm so thankful for my man.

Once corralled in his room, what I usually hear is a song or hymn followed by a prayer said by Hubby.  Sometimes, but usually not, Mr. Intensity will pray.

[This was my lamp as a child.]

For Mr. Intensity's fifth birthday we extended his bedtime to 8:30.  If he is ready for bed by 8:00 (in PJs, brushed teeth, etc.) then he is allowed to read books to himself for another half hour.  The possibility of an extended bedtime motivates him to move swiftly and get in bed at 8.

As you know, children sometimes need extra motivation to go to bed. And, believe it or not, he does not complain when we turn out the light at 8:30.

Even with the extension of the bedtime, Mr. Intensity sometimes does not fall asleep until an hour later.  The child doesn't require much sleep. :(  This hour can be painful for both parent and child.

An idea we borrowed from some friends is to let him listen to a CD after the lights are out.  If left to his own devices, he would listen to a story CD by Jim Weiss.  (Weiss is an excellent story teller, BTW.  For Christmas, the grandparents gave Mr. Intensity some CDs about Egyptians, Greek myths, and knights.  We also own Tell Me a Story and Uncle Wiggly's Storybook. Loves them all.)

Since Mr. Intensity is a thrill-seeking junkie, if he were to listen to some of the above stories he would probably never go to sleep.

So we have him listen to something boring, like the Bible.  Max McLean does a fantastic job of narrating.

What is interesting to me is how much Mr. Intensity is absorbing just by listening.  Much more than any sermon.  I think it is because he is still - and can do nothing else but listen.

One day we were listening in the car to a song that said, "Jesus is the same - yesterday, today, and forever."  Mr. Intensity made me turn off the music so that we could talk.

He said to me, "Momma, Jesus cannot be the same - because on my Bible CD Jesus says that he is the Door, the Good Shepherd, the Living Water...all those things are not the same."  A great discussion ensued.

Another night at dinner, just randomly, he repeated a verse that he'd listened to the previous night.  "Jesus said, 'I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life - no one can come to the Father but through Me.'"

Hubby and I were shocked because we had not worked with him to memorize that verse.

When he started listening to the Bible on CD, he started with the gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  We wanted him to have a solid understanding of Jesus' life and teachings before expanding to other stories and teachings in the New Testament.  It wasn't long before he began requesting his favorite gospel - John.

A few months later he asked to move to other books.  He was captured by the beasts in Revelation!  Of course there is also the Rider on a White Horse that has eyes like a flame of fire and from his mouth comes a sharp sword.  Revelation may be his new favorite book.  Maybe because it has such fantastic stories and requires a great imagination.

If your child finds difficulty in winding down at night, maybe allowing him to listen to the Bible would be beneficial - in more ways than one.

Just don't start with Revelation.


Erika said...

What an incredible moment as a mommy, to hear your son quote scripture! Dave listens to the Bible on CD frequently, but we've never brought it in as part of her bedtime routine...thanks for the tip!

Anonymous said...

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Mom and Kiddo said...

Mr I. sounds like a smart cookie.

Lori at The Davidson Den said...

That's actually a great idea. Noah is so very like your little guy. Trouble winding down is putting it mildly. He sort of goes through phases where it gets worse, and he's in one right now. May have to try this!!

Iris said...

great post! my husband said that his mom would play the Bible on tape in the hallway as he and his brother and sister all had separate bedrooms when they were supposed to sleep or nap, i think. they kinda joke about it now because i guess there was sound effects or something in the version they listened to.


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