Ending the day in graditude is the best way for your child to learn that all of their blessings come from God! Studies show that children who pray before bed sleep better and have less anxiety than those who do not have bedtime prayers as part of their regular routine!
Keep It Simple
Just like mealtime prayers, these can be short and sweet as you tuck your child in at night and perhaps rub their back as you say a blessing. You can use a traditional blessing, make one up, or tell them some of the different people who love them (ending with a reminder that Jesus loves them, too). It’s also easy to take turns saying one thing you are thankful for and one person or thing you want to pray for.
Try to make this a sweet time of the day (even if you are impatient for them to go to sleep!). Try to follow the same ritual every night – a predictable routine will help it go more smoothly. Here are some tips:
Turn the lights down low and turn off any media to prepare for bedtime.
Read stories to young children or have quiet reading time with older children. You may invite them to snuggle with you on the couch or bed while you each read your own book or magazine.
Say bedtime prayers together.
Tuck your children in and give them a goodnight kiss while you remind them you love them. Add something you appreciated about them that day. Even older kids will soak this in as precious time.
Remind your child he/she can talk to God in their minds about whatever they want to after you leave the room.
More Prayer Ideas
Here are a couple other bedtime prayers you could use:
Thank you, God, for a lovely day,
for sun and rain, for work and play.
For all my family and friends,
and for you love, which never ends.
Dear God, thank you for today.
There were good parts I'd like to remember and bad parts I'd rather forget. Forgive me for the things I did wrong and help me to be better tomorrow. Thank you for all the good things and thank you for being with me in it all.
Bedtime can be a good time for your child to say a traditional, memorized prayer, like the Our Father or Hail Mary.