Parenting: Creative Ideas for Bedtime Calls with Kids
(Editor's note: This is not quite our usual topic, but given so much of online safety is about communication, we thought increasing communication during bedtime calls in two-home families was a good help)
Two-home families are a common occurrence in this day and age, and even with the best co-parenting methods, this situation can be tough. Keeping up with homework and extracurricular activities becomes a much bigger chore when communication is no longer a natural, everyday occurrence, and making the most of your time with your children may seem quite challenging if you are left with only half the week to really connect. Another aspect of two-home families that some people find quite difficult are bedtime phone calls.
Bedtime calls with your little ones can be tough for a variety of reasons. Sometimes you may be met with disinterest. Other times, weepy kids can be found on the other end of the line. This is tough on parents who want so badly to engage with their children, as well as the children who may be missing their parents, but are unsure how to make their phone calls worthwhile.
Because bedtime phone calls are such an important part of the day for both parents and their children, it is important to find ways to really connect during these special conversations. For this reason, we have collected a list of great conversation topics and phone activities for you to use on your next bedtime phone call. You and your child may find yourselves having so much fun you stay up past bedtime and don't want to hang up.
If you are tired of asking the same old questions each night, why not try replacing the typical “How was school today?” with something more fun and unusual? Here are a few of our favorite kid-friendly conversation starters:
- What is your favorite dinosaur?
- What would you do if you had unlimited money?
- If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
- What animal do you think you are most like, and why?
- Tell me about your best friend.
- What are you going to be when you grow up?
- What was the best day of your life?
- If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
- What cartoon character do you like best and why?
Sometimes conversation just isn't enough to make your phone calls feel fulfilling. When this happens, try mixing it up a bit with an activity or game. There are plenty of things you can do with your child over the phone, and even more you can do over FaceTime. Here are a few of our favorites:
1. Read a Bedtime Story
This is a great activity, no matter your child's age. Younger children may prefer doing this activity over FaceTime or Skype so they can see the pictures, while older children may be just fine listening to you read a novel over the phone. Either way, this is a great way to create some quality time for you and your little one before bed each night.
2. Play the Story Game
Many children like to tell stories of their own. A fun game to play with these kids is the story game. Start by telling a part of a story—you can set rules on how long your part will be or not—and let your child pick up after you've finished your part to add more to the story.
You can go back and forth between the two of you a couple times before finishing the story, or you can involve other children (if you have others) to make it a family event.
3. Sing Songs
Young children love to hear their parents sing at bedtime. Make singing a tradition by singing a particular song or set of songs each night at the end of your phone call. You can have your child join in to make the experience engaging and fun.
Some great bedtime songs for young children include Baby Beluga, You Are My Sunshine, and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. However, you can mix it up by adding in other songs you may know.
Hopefully some of these creative ideas for bedtime calls with kids will help make bedtimes away from your children more fulfilling so you and your child can sleep tight every night. After all, being away from your kids is hard on both you and them, and creating meaningful moments can make all the difference in the world.