All kids need the comfort and security of a clear, predictable soothing routine. I truly believe that structure helps children feel safe and assured – when you’re little and so much seems difficult to understand and beyond your control, routines are a source of confidence and certainty. Soothing routine’s are a beautiful opportunity for parents and children to slow down, connect, share some special time, and unwind from the burdens of the day.
I admit bedtime routines with children is my favorite time of the day. Yes, it’s a means to peaceful, sleeping babies (and peaceful, happy parents) but I love everything about the quiet and softness of our routines. My toddler, who runs around non-stop and hardly has time for quiet moments during his day, will happily sit on my lap and lean his head back on my shoulder while we read books. My preschooler and I will share our sad and happy parts of the day and what we hope to dream about. Yes, it’s entertaining dialog with a 4 year old, but it’s a glimpse at what’s going on in her little mind. We’re setting a precedent of communication that I hope to maintain through our lifetime together.
A good soothing routine will start during infancy and evolve to carry a child through to school age. Even if you didn’t start that early, don’t be concerned. It’s never too late to begin.
When done right, soothing routines are times both parents and children look forward to. You and your partner may take turns, and each have your own style, but make sure you share a common approach on timing, coping with stall tactics and alleviating any fears or concerns from your child.
So what do you do? How do you do a soothing routine? Whether you’re a brand new parent or an experienced parent, stay tuned! Over the next few weeks, we’ll be adding posts with elements which could comprise your child’s soothing routine and how to find a process that fits with the goals and the individuality of your family.