Kids need consistency… We all do! Routines help create structure, build good habits, reduce stress, and increase efficiency. Creating regular routines can help adults work to their best potential. And likewise, regular schedules can provide the structure kids need by creating a framework from which children can grow and explore the world. As an adult, predictability may be considered boring, but having a routine can provide the support a child needs to flourish.
Routines help children:
1. Feel more safe and secure-Often times, kids fear the unknown. The more kids know what to expect, the more comfortable they will be.
2. Get on a schedule-Creating a regular routine will help your kids go to sleep at night, eat dinner, wake-up in the morning, etc.
3. Improve self-confidence and autonomy-Creating routines help children perform the tasks that they are assigned as they will be predictable and will require less and less direction and instruction from you.
4. Create a positive outlook and expectations-Creating routines help children have a more positive outlook on daily chores and helps them fulfill expectations.
5. Develop healthy, consistent behavior patterns-Creating routines help children cultivate good habits by helping them develop organizational skills.
Routines help the family by:
1. Creating a more peaceful household-Routines help to reduce stress in the household because you are operating from a plan and a schedule.
2. Supporting family connections-Creating routines help create family rituals and traditions. Children will begin to look forward to those special family times.
3. Providing normalcy during stressful times-Routines help provide calmness in the midst of a storm by being a predictable safety net.
Having a time to wake up in the morning, a time to go to bed at night, a time set-aside for homework, dinner-time, bath-time, story-time, screen-time are all important to help give your kids a sense of consistency in their lives. And although routines are necessary, make sure that you are not so rigid that you fall apart if something unexpected comes up and throws off your plan. It’s important that you as the parent are flexible in these instances. Your flexibility will teach your child how to react and adjust when something unexpected occurs.
There are things that you can’t control, why not control what you can.
Amber C. Gardner, MA, LPC, AMFT, NCC