Young children are like little detectives trying to figure out their world. When you realize this, you can help them understand their lives which brings huge benefits. What do I mean by this?
First, think of a preschool class on the first day of school. The children exhibit a wide range of behaviors; some are crying, some are exploring the classroom, some are sitting quietly playing with a puzzle or coloring, and one or two are usually running around in circles. Why do they look like ants who's ant hill has been kicked apart? Because they don't understand the preschool setting and schedule yet.
If you return and look at the same group of children just a week or two later, you will see a completely different scene. The children know where to put their coats, they know what to do at circle or meeting time, they understand that snack time and outdoor playtime happen at the end of the day, just before they get picked up.
So how can this knowledge help you as a parent? Help your child understand their life in your home. Communicate their daily schedule to them. Let them know at bedtime, what tomorrow will be like. As you follow this simple ritual, you are helping your child develop trust in you and confidence in themselves
When children know what to expect they feel calm and confident, but when their lives feel chaotic, they feel stress. A stressed child is more likely to act out and be unsettled, where as a child who is calm, is better able to develop self control. And a child who hears you tell them about what to expect the next day, and then sees it come to fruition develops a sense of trust in you. This is paramount to being able to successfully parent your child. Trust is a key component to any human relationship, and building trust between you and your child is a priceless accomplishment--and will serve you well as they grow up.