Monday, October 19, 2009

Bedside Chats

What do you say to your children before bedtime? Selena is now three, and the going to bed routine has gotten longer. As I've mentioned before, the two girls sleep in the same room now. Shana goes to bed about an hour before Lena does, so about 8pm, Lena and I (or Daddy) tiptoe upstairs for teeth brushing, final pottying, storytelling time.

After Lena is tucked into bed amid her many billowy blankets, stuffed animals and two pillows, she is ready for a story. She has an imaginary friend, so I often spin my stories around adventures that she, Shana, and her imaginary friend would have.

After one particularly discouraging day, my heart was full of love for her. Full of love and longing that she will one day be a woman of God. I started my story as usual:

"Once upon a time, there were --"
"TWO GIRLS!" she whisper shouted.
"And their names were Selena and Shana, and they were --"
"BEST FRIENDS!" she finished for me.

Then I paused, looking at her wide eyes and eager expression. I realized what a teachable moment I had, and began to tell my story in such a way that it would be character building for her. She was raptly attentive, and I was able to talk to her after the story. We said one of the verses that she knows, and as always, we prayed together for her and Shana.

Ever since that night, I have tried to take full advantage of those moments before she sleeps. I encourage her for the wonderful traits her daddy and I have seen in her, and I talk to her about some of the areas that need attention. We do this at naptime sometimes too if there is something good or otherwise that needs to be mentioned. And there are times, when I feel that all of this would be burdensome, so we just have our little story and then she goes to sleep. I pray that this will bear fruit in both of my girls. Sometimes Shae wakes up while we are talking, and I tuck her into bed next to Selena and talk to both of them for a few minutes.

Do you have a special place for your teachable moments? I'd love to hear about it!


Jaime said...

Good job on catching those teachable moments! Lately, mine have come with Cosette as she is helping me around the house. I praise her on whatever work she is doing, and we talk about how one day she will be able to take care of her own family like this. Now, when she's helping me fold laundry, or whatever, she says "I am learning to be a Mommy" :)

Stacy said...

You're such a wonderful mama, Bev! So purposeful.

We have often used fictional stories (made up by us) to target specific character struggles we've seen. The time for those stories has waned a bit, but we still do so when we're waiting in the car with the kids while daddy runs into the store (or daddy tells the story when I run into the store!)

Love you, friend!

Mama Jenn said...

I just found your blog from the Christian Children's Book Review and I just wanted to say how encouraging this was to me! I have five little ones and by the end of the day I just want they to go to bed. We do pray together and read Bible stories together but after than it is off to bed. Thank you for reminding me to use those still, quiet momments just before bed as teachable moments! I used to do this with my daughter and I am now reminded that it is MUCH needed!!!! Thank you!!!

Tera said...

Beverly, I so admire you! What a wonderful way to end your days with your girls! I have found the girls and I have many deep conversations while riding in the car. I think it's because I have their (mostly) undivided attention and they ask lots of questions. We might start out talking about the fall leaves and end up talking about how God loves each of us for our uniqueness, or the story of Creation, or how dreary days may make us sad but we have JOY in the Lord! :)

I've said this many times before, but I sooo wish we lived closer to each other!