Children, especially those who are anxious, can benefit a great deal with support from their coParents. The following advice about creating routines and structure will provide coParents with some ideas for helping the child.

Routines and Structure

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Establish consistent daily routines and structure. Routines reduce anxiety and regular daily patterns emphasize predictability. A regular routine will give a sense of control to both parent and child. Anxious children do not cope well with a disorganized, spontaneous family life style.

Take care of the basic needs of your child, especially to prevent fatigue and hunger. Establish a regular bedtime routine consisting of quieter activities (e.g. bath, reading with parent, talking with parent), which helps your child to gradually relax.

Provide opportunities for exercise. Exercise is helpful in relieving stress and helping your child’s body to relax.

It is important for children to have limits set and consequences for breaking the limits. Children feel secure when there are limits setting restrictions on inappropriate behaviors.

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About Kathy Eugster

Kathy Eugster, MA, RCC, CPT-S, is a Registered Clinical Counsellor and a Certified Play Therapist – Supervisor.

For the past sixteen years she has run a private counselling practice seeing children three to twelve years old and their parents for a variety of emotional and behavioral problems, including issues related to past trauma.

Kathy was the recipient of the 2013 Monica Herbert Award for contributing to the field of play therapy in Canada. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Canadian Association for Child and Play Therapy. Kathy is the author of numerous articles on child and parent relationships which are available on her website. She publishes an on-line newsletter, Parent-Child Connections, on a regular basis.