Children enjoy events that are special and out of the ordinary day-to-day routine, but they also enjoy the safety of things rocking along in a predictable pattern.
Mr. Rogers used to sing: “There are many ways to say ‘I love you.'” One of those many ways is through predictable patterns of daily life.
Children notice the smallest details. Last night, on what is called Easter Monday in England, one of our granddaughters and her family joined us for supper. As we began, she asked why it was so light outside. She couldn’t figure out why we were eating supper when it was obviously still daylight. Hmmm. How do you explain daylight savings time to a four-year-old?
The point, of course, is that she felt a little off kilter because something was different from what she expected.
Stability is important to everyone.
God provides stability in large ways and small ways. After the flood, He promised:
While the earth remains,
Seedtime and harvest,
And cold and heat,
And summer and winter,
And day and night
Shall not cease.
I know that when I wake up in the morning, it will actually be just that — morning. I never have to worry about whether daytime will follow nighttime. It always does.
We can certainly drive ourselves — and our children — bonkers if we try to make everything perfectly predictable every day. However, putting in place a few predictable patterns is comforting to our little ones. One way to do this is to have bedtime rituals. These can include many details or can be as simple as a predictable peck on the same predictable cheek night after night.
After the flood, God gave predictable blessings to mankind, He’s been keeping them up for a very long time and we bask in their predictable comfort without hardly even realizing what blessings they are.
They who dwell in the ends of the earth stand in awe of Your signs;
You make the dawn and the sunset shout for joy.