Routines help children feel safe, they develop life skills and build healthy habits. Routines help parents feel organized, reduce stress and make it easier to find time for enjoyable activities. Good routines are well-planned, regular and predictable.
Why is Routine Important for Children? Having a routine helps to bring consistency and comfort to a child’s life, as well as providing a sense of normality. Children tend to fear the unknown, and while change is important in life, it can also create a lot of added stress for children.
Just like adults, children feel more confident and secure when their daily activities are predictable and familiar. A consistent daily schedule and step-by-step routine gives children a predictable day. Schedules and routines in the group care setting and at home help children feel in control of their environment.
When you first initiate the schedule, you may need to give your child/student several reminders to check it (stay calm as not to turn the child off from the schedule).
As the schedule becomes a normal part of their day, they may start to check it on their own.
The ultimate goal is for the child to become so familiar with their schedule, that they start to implement it independently. For example, let’s say your child’s schedule upon returning from school is:
- Homework for a half an hour
- 10 minute break for a fun activity
- Homework for another half an hour
- Watch TV for a half an hour
- Set the Table
- Eat Dinner
- Play on computer (half hour)
- Tidy up bedroom
- Bath time
- Put on pajamas
- Read a story
- Go to bed
This schedule is good with helping the child know exactly what’s expected and to gain the most of the evening.
Parents, educators, caregivers, etc. can use visual schedules (pictures or writing) to promote positive behavior in children.
When a schedule is in place, children know what is coming next and what is expected of them. This naturally lessens their anxiety.
As adults, we set up our day and we make our own choices, so we know what is coming next. It is imperative for children to have schedules as well. As new parents, we wanted to implement structure and scheduling as a part of our daily routine with our family as well. We started as soon as Iyah was born. Although, newborns have their own schedules, it is important to maintain boundaries and implement a balance of when they eat, play, bath time and sleep. And eventually, newborns will get the hang of it and will start to look forward to that schedule.
Having a good balanced schedule in our home helps maintain a peaceful environment and reduces chaos. It brings a sense of calmness because things all have a time and place.
Routines are important because they help your child get on a schedule. Shared routines bond the family together and establish clear expectations while creating a calmer household.
Truthfully, things come up to alter the schedule. That happens to all of us. When that happens, it’s okay, just adjust, adapt and create the best way to continue to have a peaceful balance to the home.
Please enjoy our Nighttime routine below!
How do you and your family handle routines? Do you have any schedules that you would like to share? We would love to hear!