We started something last year and we have to decided to start it back up again. It has taken me awhile to get it going again but we have started this week. We call them special nights in our house and here is how it goes:
Each kid gets one night a week (hopefully the same each week so as easy for mommy to remember) where they are allowed to stay up an extra 15 minutes after lights out and play with mom and dad. We will do whatever they want except watch TV. NO SCREEN TIME! We can play games, color, even sit and chat but it is one on one on one time with that child on their night. THEN, here is the best part, on Sunday nights it is Mom and Dad's night so they have to hit the sack on time or a touch early so we can have time with each other.
It works WONDERFULLY!!!! It seems to solve so many of the typical bedtime routine troubles that once we started doing it again, I could not remember why we stopped. The children really crave that face time with us and with a larger family finding that time is very tricky so here is a simple way to fix that.
Now I know what most of you guys are thinking, sounds great but there is no way we could fit it into our own schedules. We are just too busy. I would have to bet it could work for you too. Even being so super busy, it seems to give you an excuse to slow down for 15 minutes each day and enjoy your children, which is why we had them to begin with. We ALL have busy lives and schedules but taking that time out certainly teaches our children that they too are as important or even more so than let's say karate, work, ballet, cheerleading, or the hundreds of other things we do each day. Give it a try for three weeks and then talk to me again. Chances are, you will LOVE the idea!