If I ever needed proof that routine is important to kids, this is it.
Anyone who knows my daughter knows that she doesn’t sit still for more than a second. There’s a world out there to explore and she’s going to explore it. Not a minute to waste!
And yet, every morning, she asks to go in her “crate.” Yes, she requests that she be confined to a tiny 4′ x 3′ space for 30 minutes or so.
Why? Because she’s never known mornings to be any other way. Ever since she was itty bitty, I would put her in her pack n play (I don’t remember how it got the “crate” nickname but it makes us laugh now) while I quickly got ready for the day. In the early months, I would prop her up with a boppy and I could watch her from the shower as she batted her toys. Around a year, it became more like a playpen with a bunch of her favorite toys. At a year and a half, she started to ask for her “show” and since then, it has been the place for her morning snack, milk and a show: Dora, Diego or Peppa Pig. She’s a creature of habit apparently! Or maybe all kids are??
She loves it and we rarely EVER skip it. It’s routine – and kids truly like routine. It’s comfortable and expected and they look forward to it.
“Consistent routines, activities that happen at about the same time and in about the same way each day, provide comfort and a sense of safety to young children.” – Zero to Three
At an age where power struggles are beginning – especially with a strong willed child like Ellie – I appreciate that there are a couple routines that she doesn’t fight against or question. It’s because we’ve stayed consistent and she has seen no real deviation from the “procedure.” She respects the routines and I can tell she looks forward to them.
Most importantly – I honestly don’t know how I would have been able to shower and get out of the house for the last 2+ years if it wasn’t for our little morning routine….and the crate. Think she’ll let me keep her in there ’til she’s though her teen years? 😉
What are some of your “best kept secret routines”?