No, this isn’t a Fifty Shades of Grey post, so don’t get all excited. It’s actually a post about kids, and parenting and bedtime.
Well, a very important moment that you may be missing with your child at bedtime, to be exact. I mean, I was.
Like most of you, I’m exhausted by the time night rolls around. We’ve made it though dinner and bath and now bed … finally. Since I work a lot at night, I’m usually ready for the kiddo to hop into bed so that I can get some work finished and get into bed in time to snooze for four hours. This means I’m all rushy-rush getting the kid to bed–snapping orders about brushing teeth and picking up. I even decline reading the bedtime story
most of the time sometimes.
Gasp. (Yes, reason 347,222 why I won’t be nominated “Parent of the Year.”)
Recently, I was reminded of this again and why I needed to slow down. A couple of years ago, I was tucking my four year old into bed and talking to her about the big bike “race” at preschool the next day. It was Indy 500 weekend, so everyone was celebrating in some way in Indianapolis. The school was having their own little Little 500, if you will. We had been talking to E about “the race” at school all week and she even got a new helmet to wear. All seemed well.
As I tucked her in that night, she started to tear up a little. It seemed this little four-year-old was worried about the race.What if she didn’t win? What if she couldn’t ride her bike good enough? What if the handle bars move the wrong way and she can’t get them back like at home sometimes? What if …?
And then my heart broke.
You see, it hit me about all of the “What ifs” that I’ve been missing while I’ve been rushing through bedtime, worried about me and my work and all the things I needed to do, while not paying enough attention to the little one. I’ve been missing the perfect opportunity to let her talk to me at a time when defenses are down.
What is this teaching her about the future?
Being a kid is hard. Being a little kid who doesn’t understand what to do with all of your feelings is even harder. Kids need mommy and/or daddy to give answers to the “what ifs.”
But what if mommy and daddy are too busy?
Ask yourself today, what are the “what ifs” that you’re missing because you’re too busy? And then, take the time to answer those “what ifs” … before it’s too late and they look for answers from someone else.