Creating Routines (and sticking with them)
When an infant comes to the world, everything we do is centered around the infants’ sleep and around nursing or feeding the child; it is vital for its’ health and well being- as it is vital for its’ survival. As a parent to a 6 months old child, you still have to plan everything according to this routine; and as you can probably recognize or remember, if it’s a bit down memory lane: if you skip a meal or a nap, the whole rhythm can be disturbed, and it always takes time to restore.
As the child grows older and it develops on all levels, its’ needs also change. However, routines around sleep and meals are still very important and beneficial for little children under the age of 7-8.
This is very basic, but it is a fundamental knowledge, that sometimes gets lost in our busy everyday lives.
And thus, getting reminders of this is something parents are often grateful for. It is something that speaks to us in such a simple way, and it immediately makes sense to most parents.
So, *|FNAME|*, if you still have a small child at home (or knows one well), here’s a little loving reminder on how a routine around dinner and sleep could look like:
A good routine – dinner and night sleep
1. Eat together at the dinner table, and enjoy spending time together. You are already winding down; so try to avoid radio, telephones, computers, tv, Ipads….and decide beforehand, how long you expect the family to be able to sit down together at the dinner table. 15 minutes can be a long time for a little child, so be realistic. Be a good role model, and let the phone ring, if you expect the children to stay seated.
2. Maybe your little child enjoys helping out clearing the table, or cleaning the table with a cloth. Or, maybe it just wants to play a little nearby you. This can be a truly pleasant and quiet time of the day, if you allow it to be just that, instead of indulging in frustration over the pile of dirty plates! It can be very enjoyable to play near adults doing meaningful practical work (if the adults actually enjoy it, too).
3. Washing and brushing teeth the same way every night is something little children really enjoy. Even those nights where your child just doesn’t want to go to bed, it still connects to recognizable patterns and routines. These routines are always important, because it allows the child to feel, that it knows the world, and that the world is safe.
4. Reading the bedtime story, or singing a little song as a good night ritual no matter how the day went by, or how tired you are yourself- is so reassuring for your child, and it connects you with your child. A good thing to keep in mind though, is that it is supposed to be a good night ritual and not a reading marathon to keep us awake. Try to decide how long the reading should be, and then stick with that decision – even though the wide open, innocent eyes of a little child could make any mother or father read 2-5 more stories!
May you all have lovely meals tonight and a good, healthy sleep.
I truly hope this was inspirational to you.
– and Anna on the side 🙂
You can get the full length of this and other simple, practical advice in our new e-book “The 5 Golden Keys” in our popular web shop.