For many parents, our children’s bedtime is where we fall at the gate. Spectacularly. It’s usually been a long day, and I know having wrangled with my seven-year-old over homework, having coped with Miss Medium’s meltdowns and tussled with an over-tired toddler, bedtime is my Armageddon.
It’s also the loveliest time of day in my household. It’s a time where I get to reconnect with my kids in a meaningful way. It’s where I ignore my fatigue for “just a little bit longer” knowing that having invested this time reading with my children it’s unlikely I’ll get disturbed again during the evening.
For my seven-year-old who is over anxious at the best of times, reading time with him allows him valuable wind-down time. We don’t tell him this but it’s also helping to develop his fledgling reading skills. We use books that are beautifully illustrated and filled with adventure, and he listens captivated.
For Miss Medium, it’s a chance to escape the woes of her day and escape to enchanted lands, and for Mr Small it’s a rare and wonderful time to have mum or dad just to himself as we sing nursery rhyme after nursery rhyme to him as he nods off to sleep.
Reading tips from an "L" plate mother.
Sarah Pietrzak is an educational consultant, freelance writer and blogger.