Do Your Kids Put Themselves to Sleep?

Sheri Reed
boys, kids, bedtime, pajamas, toothbrush, brushing teeth

Photo by The-Autism-Mom

We just had a breakthrough parenting moment in our house.

My 6 year old can put himself to bed. The other night he put on his pajamas, brushed his teeth, "read" a book, and put himself into bed.

I am in complete amazement at my kid's independence.

Don't get out the noisemakers and party balloons yet. We're not anywhere near being done with putting our kids to bed. After all, we still have a 2 year old who requires lots of bedtime attention.

However, the other evening, after a long family-filled Father's Day, my 2 year old fell asleep in the car on the way home, and we transferred him right to bed in the boys' shared room. My 6 year old Clyde wasn't tired though since it was only 6 p.m. Clyde, my husband, and I all did our own Sunday things in preparation for the new week. At bedtime, I urged Clyde to get himself ready for bed. And he did! PJs, teeth brushed, storytime, and tuck-in — all without me or my husband.

Now, this night was a special exception because our normal bedtime routine still requires supervised teeth-brushing (my 6 year old has not mastered this one) and a Dad-led storytime (my 6 year old is just beginning to read). The boys are still young enough to need and enjoy this bonding time.

On the other hand, it was really exciting to know my oldest son could put himself to bed. It gave me an awesome, albeit bittersweet, light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel feeling. My firstborn is growing up!

Can your big kids put themselves to bed? Do you still continue to be a part of their bedtime routine anyway? At what point did you let go of some aspects or all of the bedtime ritual?

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