But, Jr. and Sissy seem to think it is silly time. Jr. chases Sissy to give her a hug, Sissy giggles endlessly as she puts her jammers on backwards. The games begin. What should Mom and Dad do? It feels irritating, yet, the children aren’t really doing anything bad, only having a good time. How do Mom and Dad address
this silly time? Is this just a stage?
Since this is not a right or wrong, black or white situation, it
is the irritation felt by the parents that shows them there is something to address. As the parents instruct the children that this is not the time to be silly, it is important to let the children know when silly time is ok. We leave our children at a loss if we just say “no” but don’t give them direction for another option. A good response would be, “This is not the time to be silly; you
may be silly when outside playing or during play time, but now is get ready for bed time.”
In the above situation the children are not being naughty, so it
is also a good idea to assure them that they are not in trouble for doing something bad. Being silly is ok at the appropriate time. Also a kind word of stating how you like seeing them enjoy each other would help them understand that silliness just needs to be when it is not taking them away from an immediate responsibility.
Regarding being a stage, it may be a stage, but I guarantee that if it is not addressed it will get worse before it gets better. No doubt by the time they are teenagers they will not be giggling about putting their jammers on backwards, so you could say the stage would be over. Still, if children are allowed to be silly getting ready for bed without boundaries the time will become zoo like. Parent’s irritation will turn into anger and bedtime will be full of conflict instead of warm snuggles.
Some families love this silly time. Crazy get ready for bedtime
is normal and a fun way to wrap up the day. This is wonderful and I am also sure it builds many fond memories for the children. God has made us all different and with different tolerances. Bedtime can look many ways, that is not the point, the point is that if mom and dad are feeling irritated, it is better to make boundaries and instruct children so they know what is expected of them.
This is also not just about bedtime; it could be meal time, clean
up time or in the car time. Any time a parent feels irritation mounting an evaluation of why is needed. A little effort to explain, show and practice will again put the family on the same page.