Someone recently asked me about our family bed time rituals. Bedtimes are one of the areas that have always flowed well for us at home. I knew from the early stages I could not spend all evening doing bedtime stuff, so I came up with a simple plan to ensure my children would go to bed (relatively) quickly and easily. I'm grateful to say it works and ensures I get me time in the evening (to work, plan lessons, tidy up ..... .lol!)
Here's our bedtime ritual.
A light snack (to ensure they don't wake up too early due to hunger). Then we do PJ's, teeth, wash face and hands etc, I give them a foot rub with lavender essential oil and almond oil. I then read stories and get into bed with them for cuddles. This is followed by prayers and a song or two. The prayers are simple and sweet, I've noticed how the children take great comfort from them and so I have continued doing this. I stay with them until they are asleep. I use this time to look back over the day and observe what went well and what didn't. There's no judgement here, just observing. It helps me see things objectively. The lack of judgement on myself helps me to see what's working and what could do with more effort. I also enjoy keeping books beside the bed to read. It matters less how quickly they fall asleep if I have something enjoyable to read. This usually results in them falling asleep very quickly (10 minutes or less).
Our prayers at the moment include a traditional one but with a change - now I lay me down to sleep I pray to God my soul to keep, please wrap me in your love all night and wake me with the morning light.
The other prayer we are enjoying this winter is by Rudolf Steiner - around me many beings live, loving me, protecting me. And through my heart God speaks to the world, and He does this best when I can love everything and everyone.
We change prayers monthly/seasonally and include many different kinds, whatever ones speak to our heart and bring comfort.
Songs we are enjoying this winter - "The lady moon up yonder, is like a silver boat. Upon a dark blue ocean, all silently afloat. And when the fairies awaken, they dance the moonbeams white, And far across the heavens, go sailing in the night". (from a book by Wynestones)
"Sleep my child and sail away beyond the land of dreams, your angel guides your ship along the silver sea of dreams
You'll come once more to journey's end to your heavenly home of gold
The sun will wake you in the morn, a new day shall unfold."
Now if I were braver, I would record the songs and include them with this post but I won't do that because I don't want to scare you off, ha!
What makes this bedtime ritual work for us is my commitment to doing it every night, the same order. I do not get any resistance to bedtime or sleep because my children know this is just what we do at that time of day, they accept it. It took a few weeks to establish but once they understood this was my firm plan, they relaxed into it.
If ever they seem unsettled or have nightmares,I remind them that they their angel is there with them and can help if they are frightened and that any of the loving beings we talk about will come to them and protect them if they ask. I tell them about the golden bubbles I put around them that only allows love through and keeps all negativity away.
We talk about our dreams in the morning, if they remember them. They often see me jotting things down in a dream journal. I encourage them to remember and share their dreams. We don't analyze them at this young age, we just enjoy the details.
Sweet dreams to you and your little ones!