This was originally posted by the Marion & Polk Early Learning Hub here.

Do you have a favorite routine in your day?  Perhaps it’s your morning coffee…or sitting down with a good book after a long day at work.  Maybe your favorite routine is just sitting back and doing nothing during the very few precious minutes you get during the day when somebody is not asking you for something.  Whatever your favorite routine is I’m sure that if something keeps you from enjoying that routine your whole day gets thrown off and it can be really hard to focus or enjoy much of anything during that day.

Kids crave routine too.  As much as they often seem to enjoy new things, new toys, and new places they (like us) crave familiar things as well.  Routines bring a sense of comfort and help kids relax and feel safe. They also give them something to look forward to and bring some consistency to what can sometimes seem or feel like a big, scary world.  Routines can be really hard to create with the busyness of life. Some days it seems like we feel fortunate just to have a moment to breathe during the day. Other times our circumstances and factors outside of our control continue weighing on us and prevent us from feeling like we can enjoy even simple things.  It’s at these times where I’d argue, that even being able to cling to one routine can really help both us and our children relieve some of the stress we feel in our everyday lives.

What’s one thing you can try to start doing every day with your kids?  Perhaps it’s a favorite book before bed every night or a silly morning wake-up routine.  Maybe it’s playing a car game on the way to school or work each day. Whatever it is, I encourage you to look for something your child really enjoys and try to make it a daily habit with them.  You may even notice a change in their behavior and mood, and you’ll definitely notice an excited little one anxiously awaiting the moment in the day when they get to do their favorite routine with you.

This is fatherhood…