I sort of love rituals…it makes me feel somewhat secure to know that I do a certain thing almost all the time and that some things are therefore predictable.
In the morning, my ritual is a cup of coffee, I am not the same person if I skip this ritual.
Orange juice at breakfast has also been a ritual for me since childhood as has been breakfast. My grandmother was a firm believer in breakfast. She made it every morning, whether we wanted it or not.
My morning ritual of coffee and breakfast is comforting and I rarely change it, I almost never skip breakfast of some sort and I never skip my coffee.
For children, rituals are also comforting and help to settle them when life hands them a chaotic moment.
A kiss from us when they fall down or a hug from us when they are crying is something that they rely on for comfort.
Bedtime rituals provide comfort at the end of a busy day. It can be very calming for a child to have us join in their bedtime routine of a bath, quiet time and reading. It is a time to help them settle down and quiet themselves. It can also be a time for us to talk with them about whatever is going on in their little heads.
The bedtime ritual of reading with my grandchild is one that I cherish. Children’s books are wonderful and they generate such an opportunity to interact, whether it is about school, play, friends, or family. Even fairy tales have lessons to teach. The classics like Madeline and Winnie the Pooh bring back so many memories.
Life can feel so frenzied…it bothers me to see little ones lose out on story time before going off to sleep…it is a ritual that just might stay with them long into adulthood. Reading before bed can be relaxing and a way to self soothe as they did when as infants they watched their mobiles in their cribs. Soothing music goes well with bedtime too.
Honestly, after reading and music listening, I am ready for bed myself but many nights my computer beckons me to finish the business at hand. On those nights when “home” work has to get done…I feel robbed…just as I would if I did not have my coffee waiting for me in the morning.
What are some of your favorites to read with your children?
The benefits of parents reading to children are numerous, everything from stimulating a child’s cognitive, social and emotional development, to exposing them to language and storytelling, Zuckerman said. Bedtime stories also provide a special opportunity for parents and kids to interact, and create a “quieting tradition” as the child gets ready to go to sleep, he added.“Most family rituals – from families eating together to doing a variety of activities together – are declining because adults are busy and because everyone is on their machines,” Zuckerman said.