Clay Trumbull wrote a wonderful little book entitled Hints on Child Training over 100 years ago. It has been a while since I read it, but the last chapter has really stuck with me. It was about bedtime.
Bedtime is one of the most important times of the day with your children. The words that you speak to them at that hour ring in their ears while they lie there drifting off to sleep. They are more vulnerable and receptive at that time than any other time of day. If you take time to listen they will often tell you things that you would otherwise miss. Even a teenage boy does not quickly outgrown a goodnight kiss from his mom.
And yet, bedtime can be one of the most stress-full time of day for parents. We are ready to be "off duty." We grow weary of the requests that stall turning off the light.
Realizing how important bedtime is in the lives of our children should make us take a step back and send them off to bed with a blessing from us. Leave them with a snuggle, a smile, or a back scratch. Ask them how their day was and let them know that you feel blessed to be their mom. Read them one more story. Say "I'd be happy to" when they ask you to bring them a drink. Tell each one of them that you look forward to seeing them in the morning. Pray a blessing over them.
Let those things bounce around in their head while they drift off to sleep.