When your son is in his early years a bedtime routine is pretty simple. A warm, soothing bath usually did the trick followed by dressing them in their favorite pajamas for boys, singing a tender lullaby or reading a comforting bedtime story. Once they hit school age, a bedtime routine is not so easy to plan and implement. It is, however, just as important as those early years. Possibly even more so, as their waking hours increase and they need to be awake, alert and good tempered, in order to take on the challenges of the day.
They no longer want to put on their designer boy's pajamas, and come up with untold delaying tactics to put off going to bed. It may be tempting to shrug some of the responsibility onto their own little shoulders, making them choose their own bedtime routine. But be firm and share the bedtime ritual, as it is still an important bonding time for you and your son.
Boy's sleepwear lends itself to making bedtime fun and not boring. Let them dress as their favorite comic book character and see what a difference this makes to the routine. There are lots of other tactics that can be brought into play to help bedtime run smoothly for all concerned.
Why not turn the tables and get them to read you a story. School homework will soon become an everyday thing and often includes reading from a school book. Do this at bedtime, when everything is calm and quiet, and they are comfortably tucked into bed, wearing their boy's pajamas.
How about keeping a diary together, of the things that have happened during the day? Keep souvenirs of any new places you have visited to stick in the diary. Take photographs to include as well. As your child gets older they will be able to take on the responsibility of adding entries to the diary. And what a wonderful way to record the events of their life.
The old fashioned warm milky drink at bedtime is good to include as part of the routine. Milk contains tryptophan which encourages sleep. It will also make your “big” kid feel a bit special.
One last idea that may become a very important part of the routine. Encourage your son to “wish on a penny”. Maybe not every night, but once or twice a week, give your child a penny and ask them to make a wish. Keep the pennies in a jar and when the jar is full up, ask your son to suggest a good cause or charity or maybe exchange them for something he wants.