As adults, we like our routines. It gives us a chance to fully prepare and be ready for what is the next order of task during the day. Being prepared gives a feeling of assurance. This applies to children also. Children love routines. It gives them a sense of security and comfort. Kids thrive on repetition and routine. The secret of the future is concealed in the routines. With time as daily routines become second nature, it transforms into habits. If a child’s routine is disrupted, it can make them insecure, grumpy, and cranky. Children, as well as adults, feel most secured when their life functions according to routines and is predictable.
There are various benefits of following a routine. If routines are followed, the body clock of the child soon adjusts to the routine. For example, by bedtime, the body will be tired and it will be easier for the child to fall asleep. With the help of routines, children know what is expected of them at a particular time. This leads to lesser stress and anxiety which in turn reduces the frequency of breakdowns and tantrums. Routines help in the construction and establishment of healthy habits because when children repeat a particular task, they get better at it. Practice makes a man perfect.
However, it is crucial that routines are dynamic. Spontaneity and creativity are essential factors in a child’s life. It is important that children are also taught to be adaptable according to the situation. Let go of the routine once in a while if your child feels too controlled by it. Your child will be afraid of change but remember that changes in the simplest of words are an opportunity for the child to grow. It is indeed a step forward. Put your children and their needs first.
Now the big question is how to get your child to follow a routine? Let us help you with it.
PLAN: Every parent knows when their day gets difficult. You need to plan for it so that you are prepared when the moment occurs. So if you know that your kids are demanding when they are back from school, keep yourself free during that time, and finish all the chores before they arrive home so they are calm.
DO NOT OVERSCHEDULE: The worst mistake you can make is stuffing up your child’s routine with so many activities that he/she barely has time to rest. Add some free time to their routine where they can take a nap, rest or do some activity of their choice. If your child is well-rested, their behaviour will not be disruptive.
KNOW HOW TO DEAL WITH URGENT SITUATIONS:There will be times when something urgent comes up that needs your immediate attention. Your child’s routine may have to be changed in such a scenario. The best way to handle such a situation is to talk to them. Explain what the situation is and ask your partner to fill in your sport, whether it is feeding your children or telling them a story, they can handle it.
INVOLVE YOUR CHILDREN:Let your children figure out parts or routine they can take care of themselves. This could be simple activities like asking them to clean their hands and feet after playing outside or helping you by setting table mats on the dining table before their dinner. This will help them remember the routine easily.
CREATE REMINDERS: For your child to follow routines, reminders related to their routine must be right in their sight. Parents can make creative charts of the child’s routine and stick it in their room. Make the child a part of the process by involving them in making of the charts. Leave post-it notes next to their meal plates reminding them of what they are supposed to do next.
The earlier children start following routines, the better it is for both children and parents. It will set a path for the future and help them to be organized. It is of the utmost importance that children are admired when they follow routines. Don’t forget to appreciate your children and tell them how they are doing a great job!