One of things I learned when working at a residential treatment program was how important bedtime rituals are. The hour prior to bedtime we would watch TV for about a half an hour & then brush teeth & head to bed. One of the girls asked me to brush her hair every night I worked. She found it soothing & it helped her prepare her & calm her for bedtime. It eventually turned into all 6 girls asking me to brush their hair & they all had to take turns which helped to reinforce the importance of patience, waiting your turn & cooperation. The girls, despite being teenagers, also liked to be hugged & tucked in each night. I happily agreed. It was definitely a bonding experience.
My now husband, read to his kids every night. He would read anything from David Sedaris, Ron White (the clean stories which were short & quick), Lance Armstrong (pre-doping, FYI hubby & family are major cyclists) to To Kill A Mockingbird & The Hobbit. Our goal was to stop the electronics at least a half an hour to an hour before bed & after everyone brushed their teeth, he would lay down in the hallway & read. I enjoyed hearing the kids laugh, ask questions & make various comments about the story. I also think it helped encourage reading & enjoying good storytelling. Yes, after reading we tucked the kids in, gave them hugs & kisses & told them how much we loved them.