Bath, Brush, Books, Bed

When I was pregnant with T.J I found ‘America’s Supernanny’ Deborah Tillman and became obsessed with watching every episode! I can’t remember now if I was watching them via Netflix or Youtube but either way I learned so much from watching that show. It was amazing to me to see these crazy, out of control and even hopeless families get turned around for the better with a framework of structure, discipline, and the establishment of family rules based on love and respect.

One thing that caught my attention was how well the youngest of the children responded to routines. So many negative behaviors disappeared simply by setting up an environment where the child new what to do next and knew what was expected of them. The routine that stuck in my mind was the little children’s bedtime slogan she used. She called it the 4 B’s- bath, brush, books, bed. I started saying that to E over a year and a half ago and I am still saying it. I guess that I have now adopted it as one of those parenting phrases that annoy the kids ha ha!

It really works though. After dinner at some point I clap my hands and say, “bath, brush, books and bed!” The kids take off running for the tub. Once I had 2 children we don’t do a full bath every night. If they are not very dirty a wash cloth on little faces and hands works but most nights I do give them a bath. It’s something fun that they enjoy and it actually gives me a few moments to sit down and rest while they play and I supervise. After bath it’s pajamas and brushing teeth. At that point I will usually do a board book with the baby then lay him down before spending some one on one time reading books with E.

My husband’s job makes establishing family routines difficult but bedtime is one area that I have managed to build a little soothing structure for the kids that I can do regardless of what shift he is on. I know a lot of you are in the same sort of situations so I hope to get some feed back on this and hear what routines you have in place for your children that bring stability and peace to your family.



8 thoughts on “Bath, Brush, Books, Bed

  1. Morning Time has been a big help for us. I guess it began as Table Time when they were toddlers. After breakfast, sometimes before I ever cleared the table, we would read something from the scriptures (usually a psalm or proverbs), pray, and sing a song (for a while we sang “I will enter His gates…” and I called it “The Morning Song” because I needed the reminder every morning. My boys loved it and begged for it.

    Morning Time is now much more full, but we try to include the basics of read, pray, sing as we have for years. We also now usually start by lighting a candle and include more of our homeschooling activities that are done together: memory work (scripture, poetry, safety info), hymn singing, read-alouds (poetry, history, fables, literature, etc–but not all on the same day!), music practice, and sometimes a bit of art.

    If I’m lazy or disengaged and Morning Time doesn’t happen there is always some form of lamentation from the boys–they absolutely love it! It’s our time together and it’s full of good things that we enjoy together. And it puts those “riches” at the front of our day so that I don’t neglect them in favor of all the more “academic” or dutiful things. 🙂


    • I love this Lauren, thank you. As of right now I have no structure or plan for Bible time with my kids and as they say, failing to plan is planning to fail… I also have not taught them to ask to be excused from the table. It’s something I just started working on this week. It was driving me crazy having to tell E over and over to sit back down. I bet if I implemented something like this following a meal it would help her to stay seated. I’m going to work on this and I’ll let you know how it goes! Thanks for the encouragement!


      • Also, I realize E doesn’t know the “I will enter HIs gates with thanksgiving” song! That’s a good one! Have you ever heard the song that goes, ‘When I get up, I’m thankful for a brand new day. When I get dressed, I’m thankful that I can run and play. When I sit down to eat I’m thankful for my food, but most of all I’m thankful for my God who is so good!” ? That’s one I’ve been singing to them in the morning


  2. I read once of Elizabeth Elliot’s parents starting their day as a family, reading the Bible, praying, and singing a hymn before she and her siblings went off to school, so that inspired the three things that are at the core of our Table-Time-turned-Morning-Time. That routine had proven so meaningful to her that I wanted to give the same to my kiddos.

    Liked by 1 person

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