The bedtime routine is a battleground. There is the reluctance to get it started, the whining during each step and a six-year-old's attempted negotiations that have to get shut down. After years of this, we are getting somewhat closer to the stage of acceptance and I know that one day, I can send him off to do his nightly routine and he will do it without question and I may cry a little on that night. (Happy tears.)
But, it occurs to me that there are a lot of routines in our household. There is, for example, the morning routine, which is met with the same reluctance as the bedtime routine but somehow goes smoother even with the factor of tiredness thrown into the equation. There is also the family dinner routine, and the safety activities upon getting in the car routine.
And all these routines - even the micro routines - offer the repetition that is needed to provide my son with a sense of security and provide him with the knowledge of what is expected of him.
Hopefully, all of the routines add up. A small study has shown that routines in childhood may add up to increased time management skills and ability to focus in adulthood.
That may or may not be true. What I do know is that daily routines - and the battles I sometimes have to wage to get through them - are paying off overall in terms of my son knowing what to do without my help.
What's the toughest routine for your children to follow? Share with me in the comments.