I’m not usually the early morning walker with our dog, Tootsie, but this week I have been – and have, surprisingly, found myself totally embracing it.
It’s so peaceful, walking in the crisp morning air – quiet houses still darkened, only to have a light suddenly turn on as I pass by; the busyness in other homes, adults standing at kitchen sinks, cars warming up in driveways, an older gentleman coming out to get his newspaper, a 4-year-old knocking on the picture window of his living room and waving, another dog walker or two on their way.
I’m filled with this sense of the commonality we share as we face the day ahead of us. Routine – we all have one – we depend on one. We often complain about it, how we are in such a “rut”. However, usually after a week or more “on vacation” and away from our daily routine, most of us are more than eager to return to it.
It is the same for our children. They rely on us, as the adults in charge, to create this structure for them – to provide a predictability and coziness that makes their world feel secure.
Routines create the rhythm of the day for us – of the week, the month and the year. Every family’s routine is different, as it should be. Every family is different. It’s having our own rhythm that defines our family’s days and evenings and is essential in providing children with a strong sense of belonging.
Parents often just stare at me when they are telling me that their child is misbehaving, looking for a definite solution from me and my first response is, “what is the daily routine in your family like?”.
That’s how important routine can be.
Because when children are familiar with the patterns of their day, they are far less apt to resist when it’s time to eat, to bathe, to get dressed, to leave for school, to get ready for bed, to stay in bed.
Routines sometimes save the day!
I talked with a mom recently about her three-year-old son. Their family routine had been turned topsy turvy because of a family emergency. This mom shared her son is displaying insecurities and difficulty separating from mom to go to preschool. It sometimes takes a bit of time for children to trust in their familiar routine once again after incidents or travel disrupt it and they are less sure of its reliability.
It’s times like this that we recognize the strength of our routines and the feeling of attachment and comfort they bring to us.
However, young children often throw a wrench of their own into the routine we adults once had down so perfectly. Parents have shared finding that new rhythm is difficult. If you are struggling with this issue of routines and developing one that benefits your child and your life style, give me a call at The Parenting Place – 784-8125 and let’s talk about it.
I will definitely fit you into my routine.