Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Parenting idea: "Talking" stories at bedtime...

Brady somehow got us into a neat routine at bedtime, started about a year ago. He has always loved verbal stories as well as books.

But somehow we got into every night, after I read 3 stories, I tell him 3 stories from my life. Our bedtime routine is very structured, always has been, works great for him. He goes potty, brushes teeth, we play for 1 minute with a ball, then under covers, read 3 stories, turn on rain and night light, spray mommy spray, I get him a sip of water, then lights off, prayer, mommy tells 3 telling stories (I think he even calls them "telling stories" or "talking stories," I forget), then goodnight. Takes about 30 mins in total.

Probably seems complicated to a lot of people, but for us it makes bedtime smooth as silk. He almost never gets up or fights it. In fact, literally half the time he yawns the instant I start to say prayer. Such a trigger for him that it's bedtime.

And it is a wonderful way to end the day. I always say,  no matter how bad a day we've had, we start every morning on the couch side by side with banana and peanut butter (he's had that for breakfast every morning for 5 years, no kidding), and every night with stories.

It's comforting for both of us and it works.

Anyway, the stories he wants to hear from me aren't fiction. He wants to know stuff from my life. He especially loves the stories of Brad Whithorn, my next-door neighbor, with whom I got into TONS of trouble, so much so I was grounded from this guy, LOL!

He likes stories of my brothers (3 boys, the youngest of which was 10 years older than me), of work I've done, scary things that happened to me, sad things, happy things, my pets over the yeas. Last night I told him about the snow that was coming, that my mom (who just had knee surgery) is doing great, about the 2 step-moms I've had in my life, and I added a bonus about the fact when his dad moves to Virginia he'll only be 3 hours from my middle brother! Yay!

Another variation of this, which we do at dinner sometimes, is I tell him a story from my day and he tells me one from his, and we repeat that give and take until we've run out.

This talking stories are such a wonderful way to bond and for your kid to know you and you to know him.


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