Parents can love bedtime or dread it. After long days with our children underfoot, we can long for the time when things get quiet and we can hear ourselves think. Tuck in time is the process at the end of the day where we bathe, love and get our children into their beds for the night. This was always one of my favorite times of the day with my children. For one of my children, I had a special side of the bed I had to get on and lay beside her each night for our tuck in routine. This same child had moved out for a period of time and then moved back home. At nineteen years old, she would call down the stairs, “Mom, aren’t you coming up to tuck me in?” For another one of my children, it was sitting on the bed while they laid down. I would encourage you not to send your children to bed and leave the TV on allowing this to be the way they close their days. They have enough technology and media already. Yes, the days are long, but the years are short. Savor and cherish every moment! “Children are a gift from the Lord, they are a reward from Him.” Psalm 127:3. If you don’t do tuck in time at your house, why not start today? You won’t be sorry. Showering your children with love is always a good thing.
Here are some basic ideas for tucking in your child: (after bath and brushing teeth) This can look different for each child according to their needs. We would dim the bedroom lights, gather what we needed and get close to one another.
Listen to your child. Next to time around the dinner table, more information can be shared at bedtime than any other time. (This could be in part due to not wanting to go to sleep yet!) Talk over your day or talk of tomorrow’s plans. Just share: dreams, ideas, jokes, each other’s love and company. Be present.
Read something. You can read a devotional book, a Bible story, a nursery rhyme or whatever you would like. Have fun with it and make it dramatic and interesting! Kids love this. Some children want the same couple of books each night for a season. Some books will become very meaningful. I recently bought a book for my baby’s baby that was very dear to us at bedtime. The tradition can continue now with his own son.
Sing something. There is just something about parents singing with their children that is pleasing. My children and I would sing “You are My Sunshine” many nights. First time in unison, then second time in our awful, yet beautiful harmony. We would plug our ears so we wouldn’t sing the wrong parts. Sometimes, this made us belly laugh, sometimes this amazed us, by how good we sounded. Either way, it was sheer joy.
Laugh. Tuck in time is supposed to be fun! Maybe some nights you lay with them and tell them a story you make up. Some nights you can tell the story of their birth or a childhood story from your past. You have permission to be silly with your children. God wants us to enjoy our children. Don’t take yourself too seriously.
Touch your child. This can be scratching their back, drawing letters on their back, to playing with their hair, butterfly kisses, to just bedtime kisses and hugs and literally tucking the covers in around them. Children need our positive physical touch in their lives.
Pray with your child. You can take turns praying if you’d like. If your child has shared something troubling them, be sure to end tuck in time with praying over your child. It is a huge blessing in the life of your child to hear a loving parent pray for them. They will come to long for this special time.
Enjoy the children you have. Enjoy your grandchildren. Be intentional with your love and time. Because outside of Jesus, we want to be our children’s biggest fans!
In striving for a touch-free church experience, please plan to print these activities ahead of time, if you plan for your child to complete them during Sunday services. Remember pens and crayons too, please.
Follow this link for a complete step-by-step time of Bible study with your children:
God Made the World Word Search:
Children’s Worship Song: