Dealing with Bedtime | Part 5


Get The Big Picture

We may ask why are we doing this in the first place? Is having a bedtime really that important?  We have given several reasons through the course of this week answering those questions. Everything from making sure your “no means no” to preparing your teen for college life.  There is one more area that children’s bedtime affects and that is the parent’s marriage.  There needs to be time for relationship for mom and dad.  That is why it is important, even in the teen years when they may not have a bedtime, for the parents to have some time together before they go to sleep.  This time can be debriefing the day, a time to reconnect, or simply just some adult time.  Making sure to have this time is one of the ways to communicate to your children, as well as your spouse, that the marriage relationship is a priority.  Make sure to carve out this time as husband and wife, especially if you are in a season of battling bedtime.



Dealing with Bedtime | Part 5 2018-07-19T09:29:51+00:00

Dealing with Bedtime | Part 4


Help Them Manage Their Fears

We mentioned earlier this week that one of the reasons for the bedtime battle especially for young children is fear.  It is our job as parents to acknowledge, help them cope and eventually overcome these fears.  But what does that look like?  It first starts with acknowledging that it is happening.  We need to comfort our young child when they have a bad dream or are afraid of the dark.  To this day I don’t like sleeping with my closet door open.  We can then begin to train them to cope with their fears.  Get to the bottom of what it is. If it is simply the dark then a night light may help.  If it is bad dreams then we can begin to train our children to pray and ask God for comfort and protection. Every child is different in this area so we need to take the time to find out what our child needs.  Parenting doesn’t end at night.  Take the time to comfort your child and help them work through their fears.



Dealing with Bedtime | Part 4 2018-07-19T09:28:23+00:00

Dealing with Bedtime | Part 3


Teens And Bedtime

The goal for parenting is raising a Godly, responsible adult, who is both marriageable and employable.  Part of this is knowing how to be responsible with getting some sleep.  How many college students are not responsible with this part of their lives and their classes suffer? It is very difficult in the dorm to make the right decision and spend some time sleeping, when friends are up talking, gaming or having fun.

Preparing your child for this, starts back in high school.  Parents should have the goal of allowing their child be in charge of their own bedtime before they leave the house, so they can practice.  As a child proves to be more and more responsible with their bedtime and getting up on time, their bedtime can be pushed back.  Gradually over time it can be moved to where there is no set “bedtime”.  Two things with no bedtime need to be discussed.   The teen needs to realize that mom and dad need their own time and are not there to entertain them.  This may mean that they spend time in their room after a certain point. Secondly, parameters need to be placed on internet and phone usage. It is unwise for a child to be allowed internet usage in their room with all the temptations out there, especially when there is not the accountability around.  This is great practice for teens but they can easily be given a bedtime again if they are abusing the privilege or are unable to get up and function in the morning.

Make sure to take the time to train your teen in how to be responsible with their bedtime.



Dealing with Bedtime | Part 3 2018-07-19T09:27:23+00:00

Dealing with Bedtime | Part 2


Get The Child Into A Routine

For those who are in the midst of the bedtime battle, having a daily schedule with a wake up and bedtime is that is consistent will help. This means that a child’s body can get used to going to bed, whether that is naptime or nighttime, at the same time everyday.  A scheduled wake up time helps this process as well. If bedtime has become a battle it may be best to place a priority on being home with enough time to be consistent with bedtime.

Another thing that helps a child get prepared for sleep is a predictable bedtime routine.  This can be established for both nap and nighttime.  A warm bath and teeth brushed, followed by low lights and calming activities help this process.   For example, taking the time to sit with your child to read them a story or Bible story will be much more helpful then a tickle fest or pillow fight.  Make sure to sit with your child after lights out to pray with them.  This also helps them end the bedtime routine in a peaceful and relational way rather then a battle.

Take the time to analyze your schedule or bedtime routine to see if there is anything that is detrimental to your child getting sleepy or fueling the bedtime fight.



Dealing with Bedtime | Part 2 2018-07-19T09:26:06+00:00

Dealing with Bedtime | Part 1


Why Is It So Challenging?

It almost seems that the area of bedtime can be a battle for every stage of parenting, from birth to curfew.  This week we will address those issues, as well as, steps we can take as parents to help the bedtime battle.

The first thing we need to ask is why does this battle take place?  For smaller children the resistance can be rooted in fear.  There may be a legitimate fear of the dark, a fear of the unknown or a fear of being alone.  The last may be especially true if one parent has left.  We need to be sensitive to our children if fear is involved.  Things that seem irrational to adults can be a source of fear in children because of the developmental phase they are in.  For example, fears of being sucked down the drain with the draining water in the bathtub is very real to the over imaginative child.

Bedtime can also be one of the first battles of the will, however.  It becomes not about going to bed or staying in bed, it becomes a battle of control.  This can be one of the first big tests for making your “no mean no.”  It is our job as parents to take the time at bedtime to decipher if there are legitimate fears but be consistent with our “no”.



Dealing with Bedtime | Part 1 2018-07-19T09:36:27+00:00

The Importance of Teaching Your Child to Communicate | Part 10


Communication Blockers (part 2)

The final blocker this week is one that we all have to deal with at one time or another.  It is impatience.  This is an emotion that can sometimes be avoided if we are simply more organized and not having to rush everywhere.   But ultimately patience is a Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22), which means that it is not something that we come by naturally.

When we are impatient with our children for whatever reason we can more easily brush off what they are saying and not truly listen to them.   If we get in a pattern of impatience it can cause them to clam up and either turn elsewhere to be listened to or internalize everything.  Both of these are bad especially when it is our job to make them feel loved and valued.

Choose to be patient with your children.  Make sure that you are spending time communicating with God.  Only through His strength can you be patient through any frustration, and communicate to your children not only your love for them but ultimately His!


The Importance of Teaching Your Child to Communicate | Part 10 2018-07-05T10:32:57+00:00

The Importance of Teaching Your Child to Communicate | Part 9


Communication Blockers (part 1)

For many, the summer is a down time for the family because the kids are not in school there is extra time to do some fun family activities.  With the start of the school year, for some even this week, the family day to day activities begin in full swing.  Even if your children are not yet in school many churches kick off all of the fall events and small groups as well.  All this to say we are no longer in relaxed mode and for many the busy season begins.  It is so easy to look back during the holiday season and think, “wow where did the fall go?!”

This time of crazy schedules can really be a communication blocker if we allow it to be.  We must carve out time for family to be together and be intentional to take full advantage of those small moments we have previously discussed.  Sit down with your spouse and schedule in family nights if you have to.  Look for times daily to communicate with your kids.  Be Intentional!

We need to make each day count and not just live for the weekend or those vacation days.  So often it is easy to pass the time or just attempt to relax in front of the TV.  But this is another thing that can become a communication blocker if we don’t set up boundaries around it.

Like we have stated in the past it can be a fun family night to pop popcorn and have a movie night.  We cannot however depend on the television to be our only source of family entertainment.  The family obviously won’t be communicating if they are all zoned out in front of the TV.  Have a family game night when every one is done with their homework or think of another fun activity where the family can interact.

Another place the TV should not be allowed is the dinner table.  Dinner can be a great segue from the craziness of everyone’s day into the relaxation of the evening.  But if the TV is on, even in the background, it will distract from everyone being able to talk about their day.


Another blocker for teaching communication, ironically, can be technology.  One of the things that technology is supposed to do is make it easier for everyone to communicate.  In fact through things like facebook and twitter we can be updated on even the small details of what is going on in each other’s lives.  Through texting we can discreetly communicate small snippets of information.  Even email has replaced most interoffice communication and the need for buying stamps.  But with the need for instant communication we may be loosing the personal touch which comes with face to face communication.  There was a time when you wouldn’t think of telling something important over the phone because it was too impersonal.  Now we blast our important announcements over the social networks and twitter.

We need to be careful through all of this that our children don’t miss out on being taught how to communicate properly.  If the only way they are learning to communicate is through text and tweets, they are seriously missing out.  You cannot have a deeply heartfelt conversation about emotions through this venue.  That training takes lots of time given by mom and dad.  Make sure there are times of your day where there are “no cell phones allowed”, so your family can communicate to each other with some good old fashioned talking!


There is another area that can become a blocker for teaching positive communication and that can be a child’s peers.  Peers can be a positive practicing tool for communication, but if peers are the only place our children are learning how to communicate it can be detrimental.  If we as a family are not placing an emphasis on communication then our kids will have to learn somewhere.  Peers can also end up being a listening substitute for your child.  This means that if your child doesn’t feel listened to at home they will search for a place where they feel that accepted.  One of the ways we can make our child feel valued and accepted at home is simply by listening to them.

A second way that peers can be a blocker for positive communication is if they are a negative influence on your child.  Issues with attitude and negativity can rub off on our children if we are not careful.  As parents we need to take the time to get to know the people who can also have a big influence on our children, their friends.


The Importance of Teaching Your Child to Communicate | Part 9 2018-07-05T10:32:09+00:00

The Importance of Teaching Your Child to Communicate | Part 8


Utilizing Grandparents and Other Adults

A last great venue for teaching communication is one that is sometimes overlooked.  It is the grandparent.  In today’s transient culture many families don’t live down the street from each other anymore.  In fact, many don’t even live in the same state.  The tragedy of this is that for most families the grandparent is an awesome tool  for teaching communication.  Many would love to do nothing more than listen and give of their time to their beloved grandchildren.  This is a great tool because it also teaches children how to relate to a person of a different generation but also can be a wealth of wisdom because of life experience.

Many families don’t live close to their grandparents and some unfortunately don’t have great relationships with their grandparents.  This is where there is a great advantage to having a church home.   There are many couples whose children are far away that can be great “adopted grandparents” for your family.



The Importance of Teaching Your Child to Communicate | Part 8 2018-07-05T10:31:10+00:00

The Importance of Teaching Your Child to Communicate | Part 7


Bed Time

Another great venue for communication is bedtime.  When children are small it is so important to create a bedtime routine.  Many of these routines include reading to your child and singing before they go to sleep.  The important thing about these sweet times with our children is just getting to be with them in these last few moments of their day.  As our children grow, many times we leave these “bedtime routines” behind.  Bedtimes can even become a battle and a time of frustration for both parent and child.

Many times if a bedtime routine can be put back into place a battle can be avoided.  Instead of rocking your child to sleep with a song, you can sit with them on their bed and listen.  For many kids a hard day is being processed through in these last moments before going to sleep.  If we are there in these moments with our older kids, just listening, we can help by offering support or even just the comfort of mom or dad.  The great bedtime moments don’t have to be left behind as our kids get older.  We again just have to be intentional in giving our kids our time and teaching communication.


The Importance of Teaching Your Child to Communicate | Part 7 2018-07-05T10:30:09+00:00

The Importance of Teaching Your Child to Communicate | Part 6


Drive Time

Many moms today spend countless hours in the car, aka the family taxi, because of the many extracurricular activities their children are involved in.  Some parents sacrifice their time driving their kids to Christian school or braving the carpool line.

We can turn these times into communication training because we have a captive audience.  Sure there may be days where your son or daughter would rather sleep then talk but there are also moments where great conversations can happen.   It is our job as parents to create the atmosphere for these moments and then wait.  Some times we can spark conversation by just asking a few questions and then listening.  You may even have to set up some boundaries for older kids, such as their music or cell phone is not on until they get home.   We must take advantage of even the small minutes for communication.

As parents we also need to keep in mind that kids are often the most willing to talk when their hands are busy.   This is where we can get creative.  Pulling a child in to help you make dinner can not only teach them a life skill but can open the doors of communication.   There are certain hobbies that our kids like to do that can be great talk times, such as throwing a ball or shooting hoops.  Even some old timey family activities can spark great conversation, like keeping a puzzle out to do as a family or working on a model.

Some activities can even become a family routine like a walk after dinner or a family game night.  We can also easily sit with our kids for company as they are doing a chore.  While your child is straightening their room go sit on their floor and just listen.   Some times the unexpected moments can be the best times to open the doors of communication.  We always have to be on the look out to not only see the opportunities around us but to create some fun opportunities for teaching your child how to communicate.


The Importance of Teaching Your Child to Communicate | Part 6 2018-07-05T10:29:18+00:00