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Bedtime Chat

My kids and I enjoy chatting at bedtime.  One reason is we rarely talk about our day before then.  At dinner we're very focused on food.  And afterwards everyone's scattered doing their own thing.

Bedtime chat is kind of a treasured tradition for us.  We'd reflect on our day, talk about what we appreciated and didn't appreciate. If there are things that bothered us, we'd bring it up with each other and clear the air. 

Oh, back up a bit, before that we also had family meeting.  Once a week, we'd have a meeting, usually after a meal, and talk about what we each appreciate, and bring up anything that should be discussed.  We started when my daughter was 4.  It was a bit tricky to hold the meeting as my daughter would often wander off or talk about completely random stuff.  We'd have to call her back to the dinner table, and call out "off-topic" to help her stay on track.

When we are able to actually finish meetings, they worked well. I remember a few weeks in a row we dealt with "brother's teasing me" and came up with various solutions to try.  After a while the teasing eased, or maybe my daughter got better at handling it.  

As the kids grew older, instead of formal family meetings, we would more informally bring up issues at a bedtime chat, and deal with issues more promptly. 

During the day, my son is often busy reading or working on his LEGOs or watching TV with daddy.  It's hard to talk to him while he's focused on his thing.  And even if I could get his attention, it's hard for him to hold it.  So bedtime is the often the only time I can actually have a conversation with him.  And even then some of the time his mind can wander off. ("J are you listening?" "Oh sorry I was just daydreaming.")  But I noticed if we have a problem we're discussing, he can actually be pretty focused.  

Many times when it's his turn, my son would say he appreciates dinner.  This kid loves to eat! :)  

Tonight was no different, we talked about how daddy took the kids to a restaurant my son likes and my daughter went along with.  My son said, "Oh yes, totally, the noodles were so yummy." 

My daughter then said, "What I didn't appreciate is that disgusting yogurt drink mom likes. "  She meant the Kefir drink I got for my son's stomach health, which he then refused to drink, so I ended up having to finish.  "Ewww... " Both kids went.

My daughter continued, "Brother and Mom like different food.  Brother likes yummy food.  And mom you like healthy food." 

Wow, very good observation!  That's what I appreciated tonight. :)

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