Did you know that routines actually help children thrive? It might be easy to believe that asking children to follow a routine would limit them, but routines actually give children a sense of security. This sense of security comes from knowing what to expect on a regular basis. A child can know that after bath time, it’s time to read a book, and then it’s time to go to sleep. He can come to expect this rhythm each day.
Routines also help children with general development. Routines can help children establish healthy habits and learn responsibility at a young age. Brushing teeth and putting dinner dishes and the sink are simple life skills that children need to learn, and routines help them learn such skills.
Furthermore, routines can bring a calmer atmosphere to your home. When children know what to expect, there is less chaos around bed time, meal times, and in general. Now, we’re not saying that routines eliminate chaos; after all, kids are unpredictable and can have a hard time dealing with big emotions (just like the rest of us). But many times, routines take away the little stressors out of daily tasks. As kids become familiar with their routines, they may feel less overwhelmed.
So where can parents establish routines? The easiest places to implement routines are mornings, meals and bed time. Establish a time for your child to wake up and go to sleep each day. Follow similar formats at meal times, such as setting the table, putting dishes away, or wiping the table after dinner. Anywhere that you can create consistency in your child’s life will benefit them.
The last thing we want is for you to feel bad for not having a certain kind of routine, because here’s the best part: kids are flexible. Research does show that kids thrive off of routines in their daily lives, but that doesn’t mean that every child or family needs to follow the same routine. Don’t feel put into a box when it comes to the “right thing to do.” Embrace the freedom that comes with being a parent. Find routines that work best for your family, not just what you think is expected from society or your social circles.
What are some routines you have found that work well for your family? Comment below and let us know!