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Why kids need rituals

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Telling a good night story, singing a song before you leave your child in the kindergarten, three magic kisses, the magic box that catches the nightmares. Did you know how important these little things are for your child?

Bedtime rituals help children get ready for bed. The song makes it easier to say goodbye. The three magic kisses are something just between you and your child. The magic box gives security and a good feeling.

Without rituals you and your child can go through a hard time in certain situations. Children discover the world. Everything is exciting, new and sometimes even scary. So when situations like bedtime or going to the kindergarten comes, a lot of children have problems.

They need rituals to understand what will happen. When bedtime arrives and you sing or tell a story it's clear what will happen. With this ritual children can peacefully close their eyes because they know that the day ends here.

Children need structure and repetition. It is very important to create and do the same things they've done before.

Structure and repetition gives your child security, stability and a feeling that everything is good.

So don't think that the little things you do are stupid or don't have a deeper meaning ... It makes your child feel safe and confirms the special relationship you have!!!

Hope to hear your opinion!


Dear Karolina,
You've pointed out an important tool to help kids feel secure in what they must experience as a chaotic world. Because little rituals like the ones you describe make kids feel safe, they also help kids to cooperate, whether at bedtime, getting into a carseat, or saying goodbye.

I invite other parents to share their most useful everyday rituals.

And if you'd like to read more about how to use rituals and traditions with your children, there's a whole section on this website. Thanks for writing, Karolina.

All my best,
Dr. Laura

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