Oh…routines. We drink the same cup of coffee, park in the same place at work, and sit at the same desk. Churchgoers frequently sit in the same pew each week. My dogs know which one goes first for the walk. Children use routines to navigate their world. When our routines get changed due to moves or job changes or illnesses, our children’s lives get completely out of whack. If your child is having trouble with mood or behavior, see if their routine has been disrupted. Something may have changed in their lives that you are not aware of: a substitute teacher or a friend shifting alliances or a new seat on the bus.

Vacations are one way of practicing changes and variations in routines.  They generally make us appreciate going back to the familiar.

Prepare your child for changes in routines: expect some difficulties. Remember that routines calm us. Offer your child other tools to calm down when routines change—try to find a few things that can remain the same.

Embrace the new and hug the old.


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