Parents these days are bombarded with the best ways to raise their children. There is no doubt you can go on the internet and you are likely find people on both sides to any issue on childrearing. Life does not always go perfectly as planned and being resilient to the world around you is necessary in our ever-changing world. However, routines for children are extremely important. Routines give them a sense of security and help them to develop self-discipline.
Children really desire structure and routine. They don’t have much they can control in their worlds, so being able to predict what happens next or what happens in certain situations gives them self confidence. It will also help to eliminate negative behaviors that may come from being confused or out of sorts.
Mealtimes, bedtime, and getting dressed are all fantastic opportunities to incorporate routines into because they happen every day. I have found it best to be prepared that way those daily occurrences run more smoothly. Morning time and getting out the door is way easier when the lunches have been packed the night before and the clothes have been laid out. It is easier to get a toddler to go down at night when they know that every night we read, sing, say prayers and then it is lights out.
Young children may benefit from picture schedules to help with routines, such as pictures of the steps to get ready for school in the morning. As children get older, have them in on the planning of routines. If you have more than one child in extra-curricular activities, maybe there is a central family calendar that every one contributes to. Sitting down together to update this weekly or monthly would be a great way to incorporate a routine as well as teach your kids the importance of keeping a schedule.
Not every routine will work for every family. And if you find you are a parent trying to incorporate routines into a hectic day, don’t stress to schedule your entire day… just find 1-2 things that could become a routine and give your family more peace. You will find they give your children a chance to experience success and helps you as a parent to maintain consistency of expectations.