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Creating routines in a changing world

Routine sounds dull to us grown-ups, but it's the exact opposite for children. They love things to be predictable; it makes them feel happy and secure.

When you’re a child, the world is constantly changing. As your toddler grows and becomes smarter, he or she will sometimes feel that the boundaries of reality are very shaky. New discoveries and new knowledge are happening all the time. That’s why children like things that are familiar and predictable. To you, routine sounds dull, but it makes children feel safe. They like recognising their surroundings and feeling in control.

Routines make life predictable
Routines make the world seem more predictable to your child. The evening bath is a signal that the day is over and it's time to go to bed. Washing your hands and wearing a bib means it’s mealtime. And there are many other little things you can do to make the day more predictable, like taking regular afternoon walks or reading books on the same chair before putting your child down for a nap.
When your toddler gets older, you can create routines relating to everyday activities. For example, you can have them tidy up after playing at the end of the day, or hang up their coat and wash their hands when getting home from preschool.

Routines feel safe
Obviously, routines shouldn’t take over your life. But routines often turn into good habits that make your child feel happy and content. It’s easier for children to be cooperative and helpful when they know what’s going on. This has a calming effect on both younger and older kids.
What do you think about routines? Share your thoughts here.
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