Day 5 - Kids Bedtime Routine
The division of house chores is an ever-changing activity, based on our work schedules. In general, though, I get the kids up, dressed and out the door, and my wife does the school pickup and dinner routine. The final stretch, that last half hour of bath time/kitchen cleanup/tooth-brushing/pajama wrangling, we generally split according to who feels like doing what. But it turns out that there’s one duty I should always take on, according to science, no less: the bedtime story.
Kids who are read to by dad, according to a study by Harvard University researchers, have better-developed language skills than kids who were read to by mom. So, if families have a choice—meaning the father is in the picture and present in the household—dad should take on the nightly bedtime story.
Let's face it. Most dads interact with their kids differently than mothers and those differences can be hugely beneficial—dads roughhousing with kids, for example, helps children sync physical action and mental concentration and helps them learn to regulate themselves. In our household, at least, it’s true that dad tends to be the “roughhouser” while mom is more of the “chill cuddler.” Reading at night to your kids is also a great time to read Bible stories to your kids. We have this huge picture Bible that my kids love. As a dad, it’s hard to know how we are to lead our families spiritually, but I believe reading Scripture is one way we can do that well and know we are doing the right thing.
On another note, it also gives your spouse a much-needed break if they have been with the kids all day and need some time to reorganize the house before bed, or to step out for a break to run some errands out of the house.
Bedtime Challenge: Read to your kids every night you're able to this week. See how that impacts your relationship with your kids.
Genesis 18:19 For I have chosen him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring to Abraham what he has promised him.”