Kids thrive on ritual. Repeated, predictable, routine. It gives them a sense of security and well being, of being grounded and safe. It also dovetails with the way their brains are developing; repeating the pattern makes sure the brain gets wired up correctly. One of our most cherished rituals is the litany of bedtime prayers. This is the crowning act of the day; a time to settle body, mind, and spirit in preparation for sleep; a time to reflect on the day’s events and offer thanksgiving and contrition to God, who is the Author of Life.
We have a long sequence of prayers that we say nearly every night. We settle the kids in their beds and turn out all but the night lights. I stand in the hallway between the boys and the girls rooms and lead them in prayer. When the first Nodlings were very little we used to read Little Prayer Series: Bedtime Prayers by Tommy Nelson, which is a cute little board book in the shape of praying hands. After a while I had the whole book memorized and just recited a dozen of the prayers from off the top of my head.
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