There has been a good bit of interest in my post from yesterday – Our Family Catechism Practice, so I thought I would post a description of our bedtime routine.
It started when our eldest was just a few days old.
I remember sitting on the floor in the nursery while my wife held out little girl on her chest, rocked her and sang to her while I listened. We would then walk to the crib together, pray for her and lay her down to sleep.
It wasn’t long before my wife asked why I did sing with her. I didn’t want to! I don’t sing!
In God’s loving grace He convicted me of my pride, it wasn’t too long and I began to sing too.
Ever since then, now with three children, we have had the same bedtime routine. We normally do this even if we have guests. It is a great part of our day and quite simple.
Now to be sure it is not like we never miss a day, but it is the norm.
At some point after Tea we get the kids’ teeth bushed, P.J.’s on and all gather, either on the couch, the floor in one of the kids’ rooms or on one of their beds, etc. Recently it is normally the front room.
If there is time I read a story from one of many excellent, Scripture based, Gospel filled books we have.
Then each of the children pick a song they want to sing. Sometimes we get into a bit of a rut and I have to say, “Pick a song, but you can’t pick – and then name a couple we have sang every night for the past week – just to encourage variety!”
As a family we sing each song the children pick.
Then each of us pray – each of the children, Mum, and myself.
Then each of the children gives each other a hug and kiss goodnight (Along with any other guest we have in the home at that time! It is kind of funny to watch the faces, especially of single guys who are over, when our two year old or son goes up to them and wants to give them a big kiss!)
Then each of the children head to their beds after which Mum and I make our rounds to tuck them in and say a final goodnight.
It is a real joy to begin and end our days as a regular practice with our hearts directed toward the Lord.
Again, I don’t post this as some legalistic form that everyone should follow. It is something we have been doing and enjoying as a family. If others find it valuable and helpful – fantastic.