It is widely known that routines are beneficial for anyone, especially children. Though establishing one may seem daunting, knowing why they are important can help you create one that works well for your family. Today, I’m here to share why daily routines are important and give tips on how to establish them in your home.
Here are a few benefits of having routines for your children:
- Sense of Predictability- Routines let children know what is coming next in their day and let them know what is expected of them. This creates less stress for your child and makes transitions easier because they know what is coming next. For example in a bedtime routine, the child knows you will read a book and tuck them in. This consistency helps them feel comfortable and relaxed so they will be able to fall asleep more easily.
- Helps Develop Independence- Children who have an established routine are more likely to take control of their actions. A child who knows it is time to get dressed can go pick out their outfit, or find the shoes they would like to wear. From this, they gain self-confidence and are better prepared to make decisions for themselves throughout life.
- Creates Healthy Habits- Habits such as brushing teeth and eating regularly help children master these skills and eventually are able to do them on their own without reminders. They will learn how they can establish healthy habits on their own, a skill that will be valuable to them for their lifetime.
- Give Opportunities for Learning- Our daily routines can feel very ordinary, but they are amazing learning opportunities for a child. For example, allowing your child to help you make dinner gives them a chance to learn in many different areas (vocabulary, pouring, etc) while having fun. Skills like communication, following directions, and sensory development are all involved when your child is helping you make a meal.
- Promotes Self-Regulation- Self-Regulation is the practice of being able to identify one’s own feelings and having the skills to manage them without becoming overwhelmed. Research shows that children who have routines at home have self-regulation skills. This is important because self-regulation is one of the building blocks of good mental health.
Now that you know a few of the reasons why routines are beneficial for children and their development, here are a few tips for establishing routines with your kids.
- Make a List of What Needs to be Done Daily- Doing this will give you an outline of your routine and can help you and your family reach goals that you have set, such as reading with your kids for 20 minutes a day or spending a certain amount of time playing outdoors.
- Involve Your Family in Making the Routine- Routines are more likely to be followed when family members feel involved in the process of creating them. An example of involving young children in creating a routine could be asking them what they do to get ready each day (brush teeth, get dressed, etc). After this, they could help you make a chart of the steps of your family’s daily routine.
- Make Transitions Fun- One of the hardest parts of the day for young children and toddlers is moving from one activity to the other. Singing songs about the activity that will happen next or using your child’s favorite toy are a few ideas of how to make transitions easier, especially when you are first starting a routine.
Routines can be adjusted as needed to fit your family’s needs. I hope these tips will help you establish routines that will help your family thrive!