Why Children Need Routines

The holidays are over and now everyone is settling back into familiar routines.  Children, like the rest of us, handle change best if it is expected and occurs in the context of a familiar routine.  A predictable routine allows children to feel safe, and develop a sense of mastery in handling their own lives.  As they begin to master more, they can tackle bigger changes. For example – paying for an item at a store, or ordering what they would like to eat when they visit a restaurant.  Eventually this will create a sense of autonomy and sleeping over at a friends house or going to an over night summer camp will be activities they will feel comfortable doing. In the long run, mastery and autonomy will create resilience and the ability to cope with unpredictable events (a friend moving away, a parent leaving on an unexpected business trip, a family member passing away) will be easier.

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