My daughter and I started a bedtime routine within the last few months that I can safely say has opened our dialogue with one another. It has also strengthened the already strong bond we have. It’s a simple little piece of parenting advice, but one that I have found surprisingly helpful.
We ask each other the same three questions each night before bedtime.
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Three Questions Before Bedtime
The three questions we ask each other are:
- What was your favorite thing today?
- What was your least favorite thing today?
- What did you learn today?
That’s it- three simple little questions that have sparked many conversations, learning moments, laughs, and a few tears.
I didn’t come up with this little ritual all on my own. I first encountered the three questions at age 18 when I babysat for extra cash. I remember tucking the kids into bed, there were two, and how they insisted that we go through “the best and worst” of their day. They got really animated when they discussed the things they loved and the things they hated about their day.
That was, ahem, a long time ago. In all honesty forgot about this little bedtime ritual when I had children of my own. It wasn’t until a few months ago that I read a parenting advice blog touting the benefits of bedtime questions for children that I remembered the “three questions.”
Great Parenting Advice
That very evening I asked my daughter (she’s seven) the three questions as I was putting her to bed. She immediately smiled and started going over all the good things that happened during the day. She had to think a bit about what she didn’t like about the day. She had to think a little more to come up with something she learned that day. The fact that she was really thinking through the questions to answer told me that she was enjoying our little exercise.
She had even more fun asking me the same three questions and it was fun to think through all the occurrences of the day to come up my answers.
That was a few months ago and we have asked each other these three questions every night ever since. I can tell that my daughter looks forward to this mother daughter bonding time. If we are having a rushed and crazy night and I accidentally forget to ask the questions, she makes sure to remind me that I forgot!
Developing Good Parenting Skills
My daughter is a lot like me. I remember how hard it was to open up to my mom, heck, it’s still hard. Because I see many of my quirks and ticks in her, I want to build an open dialogue with her now. I hope that by doing this we will be able to weather the stormy teenage years with a strong bond and open dialogue.
I’m going to introduce a back and forth journal. I’ve seen a few blog posts about this here and here. There are also some really cute ones to buy if you have a hard time coming up with nightly questions. Check out this back and forth journal.
I’m probably going to buy a pre-made journal first, just so this idea doesn’t fall by the wayside because I don’t actually put it together. I can see the benefits and fun of putting together your own too.
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