All families need some type of routine to establish normalcy, a way to get things done and a sense of security.
Children often fear the unknown – whether it’s the broccoli on their plate – or a big life change like moving to a different house or gaining a new sibling.
While change is a learning opportunity, it can also be stressful for children. A normal routine brings comfort and consistency to a child’s life.
Daily routines might include:
The time to get ready in the morning
Bath times, mealtimes, naptimes and bedtimes
Housework, cooking and cleaning schedules
Play time, family time and outdoor play
The most important aspect is creating a routine that works for you and your family.
Here are 10 reasons a daily routine is important for your child:
Helps your child get on a schedule
Consistent routine will help your child and their “body clocks” with many day-to-day.
Bonds the family together
When a child knows what to expect and notices regular family activities, they begin to understand what’s important. This strengthens shared values, beliefs and interests.
Rather than having a power struggle about picking up toys at the end of the day or taking a bath, a child becomes accustomed to knowing when “pick up time” and “bath time” are.
Creates a calmer household
Because the child, and other family members, know what to expect, stress and anxiety are reduced.
Gives your child confidence and independence
With a routine, a child will learn over time when it’s time to brush their teeth or put on their pajamas. They will take pride in knowing what they are supposed to do – and doing it by themselves.
Establishes healthy, constructive habits
From brushing teeth regularly to completing homework every afternoon, routines help establish constructive habits.
Helps you (the parent) remember important things
In the midst of busy family life, you’ll be able to keep track of the important details – allowing for a more stress free household and quality time together as a family.
Offers your child an opportunity to get excited about what’s ahead
If your child knows what’s on the schedule, they anticipate and look forward to future events – such as going to the park on Friday afternoons or spending time with Dad on Sunday mornings.
Provides opportunity for special “daily rituals”.
When you build something into your day, like snuggling and reading to your child before bed, you instil special moments and create increased bonding and connection with your child.
Offers stability during times of change or stress
Changes and stresses impact a child’s life and sense of security, such as a divorce, change in school system or addition of a new sibling.
While establishing and maintaining routine has a wealth of benefits, it’s vital to also remain flexible. Spontaneity and creativity are important factors in a child’s life.