If you follow my posts, you will know that I have already shared a post about bedtime. In my last post — 5 Things to Incorporate into Bedtime — I shared with you techniques I have tried to make our bedtime transition smoother and more enjoyable. This post will be different. Unlike my last post where I shared how those techniques can help you, in this post I will share with you how other approaches do not help me.
Why do I share how the techniques do not work for me? I believe that sharing failures can be beneficial. I believe failures can inspire someone else. (Please note that in using the word ‘failure’ I do not consider myself a failure. It is relative and all about perspective.) Also, I want to be transparent and remind you that just because I share with you the many ways I consciously parent and adventure with my children, my life and parenting style are not perfect.
Think of our parenting approaches as a junkyard of ideas. One person’s trash is another person’s treasure. You can take my ideas and make them your own, make them work for you and your children. Also, I feel that by giving you a heads-up on how the following approaches to bedtime have not worked for me, it might just help you avoid the downfalls and make them successful for yourself in other ways.
1. Book at Bedtime
Reading a book is easy, right? Yes. However, for my children one book is never enough, so we end up having a discussion about why I will not read two more books. These discussions make me feel like my attempt at providing my children a space to wind down for bed was unsuccessful.
2. Bedtime Stories
Unlike reading a story from a book, making up a story requires me to use my imagination at my least creative part of the day, nighttime. Having to use my brain to formulate an engaging story to satisfy my children’s thirst for adventure makes me more tired.
Lullabies are lovely, but they bring peace and relaxation to my children and me — making me want to lie down with them instead of leaving the bedroom to finish up my day’s work.
4. Lying Down With My Children
I have a real love-dislike relationship with this bedtime approach because I love lying close to my children — I know that one day they will not want me this close — but I end up falling asleep before them 90 percent of the time. I wake up hours later cranky because I did not get ready for bed before falling asleep.
In sharing these thoughts with you, I have realized that the success of my bedtime techniques depends heavily on how tired I am and how much work I have yet to do before lying down for the night.
In fact … writing this may have just inspired me to practice ways to have fewer tasks to do at night and be more available for my children during bedtime. Oh, the life of a parent! Always having to find ways to keep our sanity.
What have you tried during bedtime and how has it backfired on you? What does not work for you might just work for me. —Jasmin