* I have my computer back and am tentatively hopeful that it’ll stay this way! After taking it in three times in the last two weeks, I’m crossing my fingers and toes that the third time was the charm!
For the most part, I write here about trying to figure it all out. The discovery process of being a mother. BUT, I do have a few tricks up my sleeve, and lately, I’ve been thinking I might as well share them! So here’s the first . . .
Months ago, I read a simple bedtime tip that has transformed how both the boys and I feel about that customarily dreaded hour. The tip? Prepare your children for bed as you normally would, but after the routine is over, tell them that they are welcome to play, as long as they stay in their room.
Every night, the boys and I brush teeth, read stories, say prayers, maybe even sing a song or two—but they don’t drag their feet, because they know playtime isn’t really over. When we first instituted the idea, I told them they could play until they were ready to be tucked in. After about 30 minutes, Chase, our 2 1/2-year-old, would wander out, saying, “I’m ready to get tucked in!” (So cute! And seriously, SO much easier when they think it is their idea!)
Now that they’re several months older and are used to the routine, I actually say as I leave their room, “When you’re ready to go to sleep, just turn off the light and hop in bed!” And you know what?? They do! Lately they’ve been playing together for up to an hour and a half, but when they’re finally beat, they go down on their own. Sometimes we find them with the lights on, tucked away in their beds. Other nights they turn the light off. One time we found them both jammie-less, with the younger one out cold on the floor! (Trenton told me the next morning that they got hot from all the playing. :)
It isn’t always flawless. Even though they know they’re supposed to stay in their room, sometimes they invent excuses to come out, as all kids do. :)
But overall, they’re surprisingly compliant, and I love that they have some time to bond as brothers and to get creative without adult input. I switch out the accessible toys every few days, and I never know how I’ll find their room the next morning! They’ve built zoos, dump sites, towers, fire stations, car ramps, and even a giant diaper. (According to them, that pile of pillows in the bottom right picture is a giant diaper. Kids are so random!)
Granted, this might work especially well for us because our kids share a room. But depending on your child’s personality, he or she may still respond well! I think even if my younger boy were in his own room, he’d still do great. (He’s the more independent player of the two.)
My favorite perk of this method? I’m typically “off duty” about an hour earlier than I normally would be!
If you have any questions, feel free to fire away!