30 Sep 5 Reasons Why Routines for Children are Important
Let’s talk about why routines for children are important. Slow, lazy summer days are behind us as we enter the chilly, productive season of autumn. Back to school is now in full motion. This means, we need to get back into a regular routine. Over the summer months, we maintained a flexible schedule in our house. On special days, like relatives visiting, we let the kids stay up a little later than usual. Or, they slept in the next morning. Unfortunately, with school now having begun we don’t have the luxury of doing that! The healthy learning needs to take place and routines help children function better.
I have to admit, the first few weeks back have been rough around the edges. The transition wasn’t as smooth as I was hoping but I know we’ll get there. So, now I’m making a further effort in building nurturing routines for the benefit of my growing children. There are several ways to establish a healthy routine for children. Here, I’d like to focus on why routines for children are important.
1. Routines for children create predictability
When children know what to expect next in their day, there’s a healthier flow in their lives. As children grow older, they go into what I like to call, ‘autopilot’ or ‘cruise control’ mode. They’ll know what needs to be done next in their busy schedules and they’ll execute. I don’t need to babysit them. For younger children, they know that after coming home from school they need to wash up and change out of their school uniform. They feel great having predictability in their day. And, us moms feel relaxed because there’s no power struggle–it’s a win-win!
2. Creates order in stressful times
Let’s face it, unexpected things happen and life can take twist and turns we aren’t prepared for. In these times, an established routine is ever more important to us. While we cannot control external factors causing stress in our lives, routines help create a constant. For some, this means feeling grounded in moments of chaos. For others, it’s learning how to manage stress despite it. Both are important skills and coping mechanisms to carry on to adulthood. Having order in your day’s routine can mean the difference between utter chaos and having control. Ultimately, this teaches resilience in a child as they grow older.
3. Routines for children help make room for quality bonding
As a busy mom (I’m sure you are, too), there are days where our pace is whirling faster than we would like. In moments like these we can forget to make room for meaningful bonding time. This can convert to unnecessary parental guilt. Never fear–this is where routines come to save the day! Schedule dedicated time in the day for quality time. It’s a time for us to breathe and have meaningful conversations. You can also use this time to create family rituals. Share the highlight of your days at the dinner table, or read a bedtime story together. These are precious bonding times.
4. Establishes healthy life-long habits
The pressure is on us (as parents) to raise healthy children who’ll grow up to become successful adults in our society. I think of this concept often and feel the heavy load on my shoulders. I also remind myself that it’s the simple, yet profound, skills that help build successful life-long habits. Raising children is demanding but it doesn’t have to be complicated or tedious. If we impart in them productive habits, like establishing routines, we’re on the right track. So, be easy on yourself and embrace these opportunities for growth.
5. Encourages independence and confidence
Lastly, and most importantly, creating routines for children helps create self-reliance and independence. When my own child follows a healthy routine, he’s more confident with the rest of the decisions he makes in his day. They have a healthy flow established and can use their energies to listen to their intuitions and trust their inner voice. With my younger children, there’s often less of a power struggle as they feel in control of their choices. We as parents get to step back to watch them grow from the sidelines. Letting go can be sad as a parent. But to see your child blossom into an independent, functional adult can be the most rewarding thing in the world. Embrace it!
Making Room for Flexibility
When establishing routines for children it’s important to have perspective. Be conscious of flexibility and making room for it. There will be days where priorities shift. Maybe the kids need to finish up their dinner dishes before homework but there’s a gorgeous rainbow outside they can appreciate. Or a relative has dropped in from out of town full of stories from their recent trip to the savannas. In moments like these, I like to see where the value lies most. So, be fluid with your plans. Remain as close as possible to the routine while leaving room for those magical moments.
Get into your routine!
Establishing routines for children can be hard work. You need to be consistent and on the ball to pull through until the end. However once you’ve built a routine that works, you can breathe easier and focus on the other aspects of parenthood. The new school year has begun and now is a good time to put in the effort. You’ll set yourself up for smooth sailing for the rest of the year. You got this, Mamas!
Why are routines for children important to you?
How do you try to in still them into your life?
Share in the comments below. We’d love to hear your feedback.