December 11, 2013

Bedtime Routines and the Holidays

What are your thoughts about bedtime routines for the kids? Before I became a parent, I didn’t really think a lot about them. I honestly don’t remember whether I was for or against them. However, now that I am the parent of two kiddos, one of whom is in Kindergarten this year, I can assure you that I am a huge fan of the predictable bedtime routine.

Why support regular bedtime routines? I believe that children need routines. Routines give children a sense of security in the crazy, fast-paced world that we live in. Why? They are routines, therefore, they are predictable. In other words, they’re safe and our kids feel happier when they feel safe.

While routines give our kids the security “blanket” they need in order to help ensure they have better, less stressful days, routines also help parents too. This is especially true around the holidays! How exactly do bedtime routines for the kids help parents during the holiday season.

1.      Provide extra time to catch up. I’m not sure about you, but I tend to be a bit of a procrastinator and it shows every year when the holidays run around. It’s literally all I can do to get all of the Christmas gifts bought, goodies made for the neighbors and parties, and the house decorated, let alone get the gifts wrapped before our Christmas celebration. This is why I love continuing the bedtime routines throughout Christmas Break…it gives me the time I need to get the kids’ Christmas presents wrapped.

2.      Happy kids make for happy adults. If there’s one thing that gets on my nerves faster than a fly buzzing around, it’s listening to whiney children. Not really so much other people’s kids, but when my kids are whiney, it really gets on my nerves…fast. I have found that keeping the bedtime routine throughout the long days of Christmas break actually keeps my kids in better moods because they are continuing to get the same amount of sleep (if not a hair more) than they were when they were in school. And, when they are happy and a pleasure to be around, I’m happier.

3.      Much needed “down” time. Another reason it’s important (at least for me) to keep the bedtime routines going during the holidays is because when the kids have a set bedtime, that means we have a set “down” time. You may not think that it’s important to give yourself a little “me” time, but during the holidays when the kids are home all day, every day for a couple of weeks, just knowing that there is a scheduled for when the questions and sibling fighting will stop, is enough to make me stay relaxed.


So, what are your thoughts about holiday bedtime routines? Do you keep them, lighten up a little about them but still try to stick to a “roundabout” time or just throw them out the window? Why?