(Photo courtesy of Rebecca Kryshtalowych)
One of my favorite times of the day is bedtime. It is a sweet time of the day when the kids have quieted down, and their hearts are softened and eager to give and receive. Sword fights have ceased, the little boy smell has been washed clean and replaced with a fresh scent, the brotherly bickering has ended, the heavy running feet have slowed to soft little tiptoes, and the loud demands have been replaced with softer tones sharing stories and asking questions.
One of my very dear friends, Rebecca, was over one day with her son James, who is great buddies with my youngest son, Andrew. Rebecca was telling me about their bedtime routine and how James would tell stories and include Andrew in his story every night. Rebecca and her husband Greg have a bedtime story tradition with James where they begin the story and let James create the rest of the story prompting and guiding him when needed. What a sweet way to go to bed at night!
Here is what Rebecca shares with us about their family’s bedtime tradition:
“We always start the story…’once upon a time there was a small boy named…’ and then, James will say his own name. We continue to feed him “ideas” and he fills in the gaps with people, activities, places, etc. For example—
Once upon a time there was a small boy named: James
And another small boy named: Andrew Robinson (he ALWAYS says this one next!)
And his other friend: Mallory
One day they decided to play: baseball with blue bats
they met at the: baseball field
and so on and so on…James develops the story with a little guidance from us. It’s fun and different every day. And, James loves it! The reason Greg started to do this is because James wouldn’t let us sing him songs before bedtime. He didn’t like it….our tradition with Andrew was to sing songs to him after we read bedtime stories. So, we have a different tradition with each child”
For so many reasons, I just love this tradition.
- Creativity is ignited in the child.
- The child has a say in what will take place. His little voice is being heard in a positive light.
- It’s the same but different every night. Same setting, different story.
- You have the opportunity to learn and understand your child better when you are hearing what is in their heart and mind
- Could be a great tool for the child who isn’t as verbal or doesn’t express feelings well verbally
I’d love to hear some of your bedtime traditions. Please feel free to comment to share your thoughts with us! One lucky commenter will receive Rory’s Story Cubes.
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