Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tuesday Tip # 4: Bedtime as a Guideline, not a LAW

I'm taking a break from writing tips today to offer some thoughts on parenting. Today's parenting tip: Take advantage of those bedtime "teachable" moments, bedtime be darned!

We have always had fairly strict bedtimes in our house. But even strict rules need to be flexible at times. Tonight was one of those nights. We had a busy night and by the time the kids were in bed and ready for their final kisses good night, it was after 9:00. Usually if it is after 9:00, my son gets a quick kiss and hug, a bedtime prayer and then lights out.

But today, my little guy (he's seven) had concerns on his mind. He's the kind of guy who will get something into his head and mull over and over it till it drives him crazy or gets him all worked up. Tonight he was telling me how he couldn't stop thinking about getting lost (he thought he almost lost us in the mall recently).

The bedtime rule went out the window, so to speak. I sat on his bed and we had a heart-to-heart. I reassured him that I would never leave a store without him and that I could never just walk off and forget about him. We talked about how sometimes we need to try to think of good things when we can't get a scary thought out of our head. We shared some more, had our bedtime prayers, kisses and hugs, and I left the room with David feeling more at peace.


  1. Aw! We play "Good idea. Bad Idea" with our kids. If you are lost in a store you should tell a security guard or someone who works at the cashier?" Good idea. "You should look for mommy outside in the parking lot? " VERY bad idea!

  2. Anonymous3:40 PM

    Your David is a great kid!

    Times sure have changed haven't they? Reading Corey's comment I agree wholeheartedly, yet when we were kids the rule was that we were go straight to the car. My parents didn't lock the door ever. Once I did get separated from them when we were in a large department store when I was in first grade. I knew what to do and headed for the door. Sure enough the family was in the parking lot. The funny thing is that I kinda wanted to stay in the store and spend the night so I could play with all the toys. I was a weird kid that way. :-)

    This is a good tip Becky. When I explain the rules of a new game to people who have never played it before I don't call them rules; I call them "bendables". I think we need to have the same flexibility with our kids. You are a wonderful mom!


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