Goodnight, sleep tight: 4 tips for a better bedtime routine

If there is one question that unites parents, it’s this one: “How can I get my kids to sleep better?”

Parents want to know how best to get their children to sleep, and how to get them to stay asleep. Sleep is crucially important for children – and for parents, too! And if children sleep well, there’s a better chance that parents will sleep well. Sleep helps everyone in the family feel rested and enables them to be more happy and productive.

Here are a four tips for a better bedtime routine:

Low and slow

Lower the lights to slow the pace of the day. This is a great beginning to move peacefully toward a positive sleep environment.

Consistency

Rituals give a comforting shape to a child’s day. They offer a child a sense of stability and security that provide a gentle transition to sleep. The regularity of brushing teeth, reading a story or singing a song before being kissed goodnight suggests to children that what they know and love is a constant and will be there again in the morning.

Ditch the stall tactics

Give the child a feeling of having some control. Let them choose their toothbrush, pajamas and book to help avoid stalling tactics.

Joyful reflection

Adding a prayer or reflection of the happiness of the day at bedtime adds one more sweet element to the end of day ritual. It becomes another step in the letting go of day and activities, of color and light, of a parent’s touch. Repeating these steps each night gives both parent and child a way to end the day peacefully.

When bedtime is a seen as a time to reflect on the day, to connect with each other and express gratitude for the blessings in your life, it doesn’t feel as scary for kids, or as stressful for parents. Bedtime doesn’t have to be something you or your children dread–it can be a special time of bonding that you both look forward to, and at which you create meaningful memories.

Not all tips work for everyone and even with this advice, children’s bedtime can sometimes be chaotic and frustrating. If you or your partner (or both of you) are Jewish, and you are looking for ways to add more calm, order, peace and happiness to your children’s bedtime, then plan to join Rabbi Ari Moffic from InterfaithFamily/Chicago and Linda Szmulewitz, LCSW, CGSC and owner of Sleep Tight Consultants on Monday, Aug, 3 from 6:45-8:30 p.m. at the Bernard Weinger JCC. You’ll have the opportunity to learn about Jewish bedtime rituals and other techniques that Linda uses with tired families to end their sleepless nights.

RSVP is highly recommended. For more information or to sign up, contact iffchicago@interfaithfamily.com.

InterfaithFamily/Chicago is the premier resource supporting interfaith couples exploring Jewish life and inclusive Jewish communities. We offer educational content; connections to welcoming organizations, professionals and programs; resources and trainings for organizations, clergy and other program providers; and our InterfaithFamily/Your Community initiative, providing coordinated comprehensive offerings in local communities, including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, the San Francisco Bay Area and Washington DC.

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