We humans are creatures of habit. We crave routine and we honor traditions because it feels comfortable, and because routine and rituals can bring meaning and structure to our lives.
Your child is a little person who craves much the same comforts. Everyday routines let your child know he is safe, she is loved, all is right with the world…even in the face of uncertain circumstances.
Of course, our busy lives create special challenges in identifying and enforcing routines. How can you incorporate comforting rituals your kids will happily anticipate and remember for a lifetime without complicating your life with more rules?
Go simple! Simple routines might include:
Singing a special bedtime song
Sharing a phrase or line from literature…perhaps a funny poem
Instituting family game night, or monthly movie night
Making smiley-face pancakes on Sundays
While you will want to take your child’s age, your budget, and your lifestyle into account when selecting routines, you are only limited by your imagination. More important than cost is consistency. Remember: your child doesn’t care how much an activity costs; they only want to spend time…with you.
These very simple steps – some of which you might have already incorporated unconsciously – can become special traditions. From traditions, bonds are formed to help your child sail securely through developmental milestones that are often less than predictable.