“I hope you sleep real good,
have real sweet dreams,
feel good in the morning,
and I love you!”
My Dad was a wonderful daddy in many ways. From the time I can remember, the last thing he said to me at bedtime were the words above. It was his little goodnight ditty, always followed by a hug.
As we grew up, Dad made the ritual interactive. Either he or I would start the ditty at bedtime and then we would alternate saying lines. He made it personal, saying it with me and saying it again with my sister.
I always loved that ditty. It represented my Dad’s love. It represented a feeling of security.
The Value of a Ritual
Our bedtime ritual has great meaning to me even now years after my Dad’s passing. I want to share it with you because it highlights the value special rituals or traditions can have in making children feel loved and secure. I can only imagine how reassuring such a ritual would be to children of separation and divorce.
Communicating Security and Love
You can create personal rituals that are special to you and your children. It doesn’t matter whether or not you have primary custody. A man in one of our Peace after Divorce groups lived a good example.
Every time we met he would leave the room for about 10 minutes starting at 8 PM. It seems that when he moved out of the family home he promised his children that if he was not with them, he would call them at 8 PM every night. And he did. He asked them about their day, told them he loved them, and wished them goodnight. He kept his promise religiously wherever he was. Pretty awesome stuff for reassuring them of his love!
How about You?
Do you have one-on-on rituals with your children that reassure them of your love and that reinforce their sense of security? If not, think about what might be a natural option for you. Nothing forced or awkward for you or the kids. Just something simple, honest, and from the heart. That’s the best.
You and your children will be glad you did.
I’d love to hear about your rituals of love with your kids. Please use the comments section below to share. Who knows? You may give another parent a good idea.
“…let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance—“
Proverbs 1:5 NIV
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