Here is the States, summer is almost here, and with it often comes changes to our normal routine. As adults, we adapt to the break and look forward to a change of pace – a different kind of busy. But a change in routine can be very unsettling to young children who not only need the security and predictability of routines, but actually thrive physically, emotionally, and cognitively on those routines.
Whereas we as adults are driven by our clocks and calendars, the day is defined by routines for young children. Deviate too much from those routines and you can potentially end up dealing with fuzziness, whining, or tantrums. The reality is that life is unpredictable at times, so teaching our kids how to adapt and be flexible is a valuable skill. So how can we keep some consistency in those routines that are so necessary to small children?
Start and end your day the same way
Keeping your morning and evening routines makes what happens in between a little easier for your child. Even the smallest things like the order in which you get ready in the morning or the way you always read together before bed will be very comforting.
Keep that favorite toy or book handy
Children find security in what’s familiar. It’s why some kids really latch on to a certain stuffed animal or blankie. So tuck that favorite toy or book in your bag when you’re on the go, and offer it to your child when you sense he’s needing a little distraction.
Lean into the changes
If you know that your summer is going to be different for the next several months, create some new routines – and then stick to them. What’s hardest for children is not knowing what’s happening next because the next day is always different.
Talk through what’s coming up
This is especially helpful for older toddlers, preschoolers, and big kids who are beginning to be old enough to understand and flex better with change. Surprises can be unsettling, so simply taking a few minutes to let them know what to expect will go a long way towards making the day go much more smoothly for everyone.
Infuse your day with music
Sing your child’s favorite song as you load up in the car, turn on that beloved Kindermusik CD as you travel, or play that favorite lullaby playlist before bed. It’s all about finding ways to include the familiar even when there has to be a change in the normal routine. A simple thing like playing or singing some favorite songs can make all the difference in how the day goes.
Stay enrolled in some of your regular activities – like Kindermusik class!
Anchoring your week with a beloved and familiar outing goes a long way in your child being able to adjust better to other changes. Children mark time by their predictable activities – precisely the reason why Kindermusik educators regularly have parents share that their child wakes up asking, “Is today my Kindermusik day??
Life is full of surprises, yes, and often the day’s activities are somewhat out of our control. But the goal with young children is to control what we can, keep whatever routines we can, and add in the touches of the favorite and familiar to give a sense of comfort and predictability wherever possible. And our best tip??
Music makes everything better – all day, any day, every day.
Kindermusik is a great way to engage your child in music. We offer two wonderful Kindermusik classes, “Village Babies” (newborn-18 months) and “Our Time”(18 months-3 1/2 years old). If you would like to schedule a Kindermusik preview class, please feel free to call us at 972.335.5112.