Day in day out, we always have something to do. At times, our work piles up so much that we don’t even know what to begin with. The act of having routines and making sure to follow them is one that we need to instill in our kids right from their tender age. Routines help to make our daily activities organized and orderly, such that we run each day smoothly.
There is a saying that habits die hard. It is essential that we instill in our children, good habits that won’t leave them even when they grow older.
In this article, we will explore what a routine is, why it is important to establish routine for our kids, how we establish routine for them and what their daily routine should look like.
In some cases, routines have to change. How does such change affect your child and how do you handle it?
Table of Content
- What is Routine?
- Why Is It Important to Establish Routine for Your Child?
- How Do You Establish Routine for Your Child?
- What Should Your Child’s Daily Routine Look Like?
- How Does a Change in Routine Affect Your Child?
What is Routine?
The dictionary states that, a routine is a sequence of actions that is regularly followed. It is the order of activities that one has to carry out at different points in time or at intervals. It is like a to-do list that lists ways of doing things outlined. There are different types of routines. There are dance routines, mealtime routine, exercise routine and so on. It is important to not that a child’s routine is somewhat dependent on their age and eventually we see that advancement in age naturally comes with change in routine.
Why Is It Important to Establish Routine for Your Child?
You may be wondering why people actually have routines and why you should establish one for your kid. Your child needs to be exposed to the world of routines for so many reasons. They are as follows:
To Give Your Child A Sense of Security and Stability
With routines, your child comes to understand how their day is supposed to be spent and this offers him or her a sense of stability. If your routines prove to be successful in guiding their activities from time to time, they would as well develop a sense of trust in your judgement and feel secured under your monitoring. It helps your child to also understand their daily events and make their day predictable and orderly.
To Help Your Child’s Emotional, Social and Cognitive Development
Establishing routine for your kid helps him or her to develop themselves emotionally and socially. Having a social routine enables them to interact with people on daily basis resulting in adequate development of their emotional intelligence. They get to also carry out activities that would contribute to their cognitive development such as learning the alphabet and numbers, reading short stories and the likes. As time goes on, they learn independence from their daily routine.
To Open Up Learning Opportunities
By establishing a routine for your child, you can teach them why they should do what they do on their routine. If the next thing on their routine is to wash their hands, you can use that opportunity to teach them why they should wash their hands. If they’re about to brush their teeth, you can use that moment to teach them why they should brush their teeth from time to time.
To Bond the Family Together
In your child’s daily routine, ensuring that they observe family bonding moments makes them know what is really important. It also opens up your children to knowing the family’s shared values, beliefs and interests. Even though they are young, consecutively doing things with the family makes them see that family time is important and enables them pick up on important traditions of the family. Activities such as meals, movies and the likes in their routine, help them bond with their family.
To Create a Calmer Household Atmosphere
The child already knows what follows in his or her routine and follows it. It will help you create a calmer atmosphere within your household with everyone participating in their daily activities. Also, your child will feel valued and important because he is allowed to participate in the household duties.
To Learn Independence and Confidence
When your kid follows a routine, he or she would know what to do next at every point in time. There is a sense of pride and independence that comes with knowing what to do at every point in time and doing it by yourself as a kid. Most kids don’t get to decide what they will do, but with their routine all lined out, your kid is already building an independent mindset.
To Establish Time Management and Managerial Skills
Time management is a skill that not all adults possess. However, with a routine established for your kid, he or she will grow into managing time for each activity they are to carry out each day and time. They will also develop self-discipline and good eating habits. In their routine, they can also learn how to groom and manage themselves, along with their surroundings.
To Provide Opportunity for Special Daily Rituals
In your kid’s routine, you can spice it up by adding special daily rituals such as hugging and story time before bed. These sorts of moments help to create bonding and connection periods between you and your kid. A routine also helps them to be expectant of these moments and long for the time to come to observe these special daily rituals. So, instead of your kid to move from one activity to another, ensure to put quality and relaxing moments into their routine.
To Create Opportunity for Excitement
With each passing activity, your child shows a form of excitement and expectancy for the activities they love. This will in turn help you as a parent to know the personality of your kid and know what they love to do and this will in turn help you tailor their activities to suit their ever changing needs as they grow.
How Do You Establish Routine for Your Child?
Having gone through the reasons why you should establish routine for your child, we want to look at how you can establish routine for your child and help them develop the ability to observe their routine daily.
Show Your Child the Difference Between Night and Day
Many kids mix up the night and day. Sometimes, they sleep for long hours during the day, only to wake up and not sleep all through the night. It is important that they know the difference between the day and the night. This will help them know that they should work during the day and rest at night.
You can help your child differentiate between the day and night by introducing them to a bedtime routine as early as possible. You’re then establishing that routine in them already. Having them take a shower before changing into their pajamas for sleep, is a very good habit you need to inculcate in them on time.
Let Their Routine Be Consistent
For no reason should you let them go through their routine in a day and miss it the next. Consistency is key in ensuring that you establish a routine for your child. Your child can only get used to his or her routine when he or she is consistent with it. Always put your child’s routine first.
Put Up Reminders for Them
Even as adults, we forget things we ought to do at times due to oversight or other reasons. Having a reminder put up helps us to keep the things we have to do in mind. This is the case for your kids too. While they are still getting used to their routine, put up reminders for them to help them remember what activity they have to partake in at every point in time. Consequently, your child’s day will go on smoother if they have a clear reminder of what they are expected to do per time.
What Should Your Child’s Daily Routine Look Like?
As your child grows, their routine changes. However, there are basic things that should be involved in their routine such as things that would keep them healthy. Examples are taking a bath, brushing their teeth, making their beds, drinking water and the likes. You also need to consider their interests and things they wish to explore and put it in their routine. Your child might be interested in music, playing a musical instrument or art related disciplines. They might also be interested in playing football and the likes. They might have TV programs that they enjoy watching and it is very important that you put all these into consideration while making a routine for them.
You should also include playtime in their routine. A time when they can bond with their friends as well as their family. It shouldn’t be serious all the time, let them have some fun too. Their routine is naturally expected to involve their academics and school time as they need to learn, unlearn and relearn. Your child has to go to school and get educated and you can’t miss that out of your routine.
Sleep is also very important in their routine because it is vital to their growth. It has been scientifically proven that our memory is often refreshed during sleep. Introducing bedtime stories, hugs and songs can help them have a positive outlook on life. These acts will also make them realize how much you love and care for them.
You can also include a naptime during the day to ease them off stress. It might be a siesta of 15 minutes or more. Nevertheless, it will help them to ooze off some stress of the day. Prayer time can also be beneficial as having a good spiritual background can contribute immensely to their state of mind.
How Does a Change in Routine Affect Your Child?
Routine changes as time passes. Therefore, as your child grows, your child’s routine should be subject to flexibility and not be too rigid to accommodate a change. It is only when you show your child that their day doesn’t have to go exactly the same way everyday before they can understand why you created a routine for them in the first place. Their routine was created so that they can have a goal for each day and work towards achieving them. This doesn’t mean that they have to do the same thing repeatedly every day; it means that they have to do meaningful things every day.
At times, your child might even tell you that they are supposed to do something at this time and not what you’re making them do. It is your duty to make them understand that it is okay to have a change in their routine occasionally.
If your child’s routine isn’t subject to flexibility right from time, the slightest change to their routine later on can cause them to be put off balance. The focus of this section is to allow a flexible routine for your kid, and also ensure that they follow their routine consistently.
It should be noted that kids love to do things on their own. There is a feeling of joy that comes with completing your tasks by yourself. To encourage your child, help them create a chart where they can tick off activities they have accomplished. Ticking off activities they complete will keep them on track and help them work on other activities left.
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