"And now get ready to stop!" – why is this simple sung phrase so important?
At all stages of young children’s lives, but particularly in times of upheaval and stress, providing predictable routines can help to calm children and regulate their emotions. We often conclude songs with “now get ready to stop” for this reason. It is a chance to learn that that phrase means “all done!”
Your child may respond to new stress by picking moments to “overdo it” – such as fighting tooth brushing or bedtime.
Singing through the expectation with a predictable ending can be enormously helpful. For a small child, knowing that a distasteful event has an ending can be the difference between agreeing to it and not.
Try incorporating this into little songs about daily routines so you can have it in your toolbox too! To the tune of Mary had a Little Lamb:
Chopping up the apple now, apple now, apple now Chopping up the apple now and now it’s time to stop
Then later it can become...
Brushing Henry’s little teeth, little teeth, little teeth Brush and brush and get them all And now get ready to stop!
(Use several verses if needed!)