we don’t send our daughter to bed

We don’t send our daughter to bed. We put our daughter to bed. We spend a few minutes at the end of the day tucking her in, saying prayers and listening to her – really listening to her – and we are absolutely amazed at what she shares with us. The things she thinks about, the stuff she never mentions during the busyness of the day, comes pouring out.

During those few minutes, we get precious opportunities to help her consider ideas she hadn’t thought of before, to guide her through problem solving and relationship issues and to lead her to new conclusions. We get to talk about God and ideas and feelings and passions and fears and goals instead of the functional things of the day that include lunches, homework, chores, laundry, rides . . .

Sometimes, we just listen.

We only recently stopped these end of the day conversations with our near 15 year old son. Why, I wonder? Just because he’s becoming more and more independent every day? Because we don’t have a regular bedtime routine for him anymore? Or are we just being lazy? There’s a loveseat in his room that I need to sit on tonight.

I want my children to be thinking of these conversations as they drift off to sleep. I want these conversations to filter into their dreams. I want them to wake up with a vision of God as the center and compass of their lives, an awareness of possibility and a sense that they can influence their future by the choices they make and the actions they take.

What are your night time routines?

“It is incumbent upon us as stewards of these precious lives to introduce them to their potential, to lift their eyes off of today’s realities and focus them on tomorrow’s possibilities . . .

The most significant visions are not cast by great orators from a stage. They are cast at the bedsides of our children. The greatest visioncasting opportunities happen between the hours of 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Monday through Sunday. In these closing hours of the day we have a unique opportunity to plant the seeds of what could be and what should be. Take advantage of every opportunity you get.”

Visioneering: God’s Blueprint for Developing and Maintaining Vision
by Andy Stanley

I’m still asking for your best/favorite/unique/effective PARENTING TIP

It can be a tip about ANYTHING. Regardless of the age or gender of the child – it can be pragmatic practices, logistics, shaping character, spiritual development, allowances, scheduling extra-curricular activities, nurturing talents and skills, potty training, dealing with tantrums, bedtime and sleeping habits, developing relationships with your teenager, cell phone limits, family policies, dealing with schoolwork, sibling relationships, dealing with a parent who travels a lot . . . ANYTHING that worked or is working for you!

Comment or write your own blog post and link to it in a comment. Share one tip or many!


Find more ideas over at Works for Me Wednesday, hosted by Kristen at We Are THAT Family. MY previous Works for Me Wednesday posts are HERE.

Works for Me Wednesday posts prior to February 2009 are archived at Rocks In My Dryer.

3 thoughts on “we don’t send our daughter to bed

  1. Isn’t it amazing how much they seem to open up after the busy-ness of the day has ended and the lights are dim? What a special time to get to know their hearts even better!

  2. We are still trying to find a routine that works for all of us, and helps the kids get to sleep peacefully without later scrambling into our bed. In all our attempts though, we always include talk time such as this. It is so precious, indeed!

  3. We pray with the kids each night, but bedtime has become somewhat of a struggle with them. I usually end up frustrated and that’s a lousy way for them to go to sleep. Haven’t yet figured out how to end the night gracefully with obedient little ones instead of them being so disobedient!

Leave a Reply