Regular schedules and rituals provide your child's day with a structure that helps them remain emotionally regulated. Although predictability can be tiresome for adults, children thrive on repetition and routine. Schedules begin from the first days of life. Babies, especially, need regular sleep and meal programs and even routines leading up to those activities. Morning, noon , lunch, and bedtime rituals help children to develop positive life skills and time to evaluate how things are going in their lives.
As they get older, a child knows what the family expectations are and how to think and feel more independently, along with feeling more safe and secure. A disrupted routine can occur to help older children adapt to change but constant change for a child can cause them to feel insecure and irritable.
Dinnertime is a great place to start setting a routine. Sitting together at the dinner table gives children the opportunity to share their day and talk about their feelings. This is also a great time to include some responsibility in your child's routine, such as helping to set or clear the table.
And regardless of how exhausted you or your children may be, don't be tempted to skip winding down from the day. This is part of a nighttime ritual allows both child and parent to decompress after a busy day. It also helps bedtime go more smoothly. This is usually the time of day when parent and child can spend some quality time together, so fight the urge to start the laundry, watch television or do the dishes until after the child has gone to bed. If this isn't possible, consider trading off these duties with your spouse each night to ensure your child has quality time with each parent on a regular basis. Take the time to find out what wind-down strategy works best for your child. Whatever routine you settle on, make it quiet, relaxing, and tranquil for everyone.