My son turned 8 in November and with that his bedtime went from 7:30 to 8pm – “8 o’clock for the eight-year-old” we chimed (I’m a sucker for silly puns!)
He’s pretty good about bedtime. Occasionally he wants to eat at 7:59 or wants to play a favorite game, but mostly he’s cooperative without manipulations or stalling.
I think his agreeableness is in large measure because we have routine, because he’s sensible when he’s tired and because Hubby and I agree to spending quality time in bedtime reading, reviewing a memory verse to two, and prayer time.
“Train a child in the way he should go and when he grows up he will not depart from it.”
I hope my son will always love the LORD, trust and want to please Him, as he does right now. When we as parents model this love through our own prayer time and Bible study, when we pray privately and with one another, when we seek to model God’s love toward us in how we love our children, then the God they see will be approachable, consistent and faithful.
Our children have a view of God through their experience ‘in the flesh’ of their parents. While we may not always agree as perfectly as God agrees within Himself, we do our best to ‘work it through’ and in that, our children see the humility and unity God encourages and models.
I know in our household we don’t always get it right. But bedtime seems to be one area where there is minimal disharmony. Perhaps this is because we focus most on God, least on ourselves and somewhat on the little guy so that he can rest well knowing he’s safe and loved. The day is past and a new day will dawn with its own challenges and blessings.
When Son was very tiny, I used to say every night as I closed his curtains, “goodbye sun, hello moon!” in order to help him learn the difference and to associate sleep with darkness – or ‘the lesser light’. I’d also like to think that now, he knows that whether the sun is up or down, the Son is always his guide and his savior, and he will always be safe in the arms of, and the will of, Jesus.