Household Wind-Down: How to Get Your Entire Family Relaxed for Bed
It's 8 PM, and your family’s energy levels show no sign of waning. One kid is under the table pulling the dog's tail. One kid is taking a marker to their just-bathed body. One kid is…wait, where is that kid!?
The point being, winding things down at the end of a hectic day can be a challenge. Kids are a never-ending source of energy, and the energy doesn't turn off just because the hands on the clock reach a certain position. One way to help the wind-down process is to set up an environment and routine for that purpose. It lets the kids know it's about time for bed, but in a way that makes them look forward to it.
When setting up this evening routine, it's important to stay as consistent and predictable as possible. Kids don't like unexpected changes in family patterns. So use a series of lead-ins, such as reminding them to pick things up off the floor, that let them know what to expect, and makes them comfortable with the flow of events.
It also helps to let them have autonomy in the events because that makes them responsible for what happens. For example, you might let them decide when they're going to do something – choose their bath schedule, for instance. If it's their decision, they'll be proud to follow it. You also might try to do things together – perhaps they can brush their teeth while you're brushing yours.
You can also schedule a calming but fun activity they can look forward to every night: reading a book together, for example, or doing a series of stretches. Or you could have a five-minute cuddle session just before bedtime, where you ask them about their day. They'll be looking forward to it from the time they get home.
One way to make sure you are relaxed and energetic enough to get everyone wound down and ready for bed is to schedule a massage. That way you'll show everyone what calm and relaxation look like, rather than just telling them.
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