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Routines and schedules may sound intimidating and even constricting, but in reality, they are the complete opposite. Children, toddlers, and babies actually thrive off of some sort of a routine, plus it will also make your life easier! Learn the importance of children having routines and why they need them.
We all have routines, even if we don’t think we are very routined or scheduled. Even something as simple as brushing your teeth before bed or washing your face every morning is practically part of a routine. Those are simple little routines that are a part of our everyday living.
Children, like adults, need some sort of structure. Even toddlers and babies really benefit from small routines. I know this because my toddler is pretty scheduled and has been from a young baby. He handles routines and schedules really well and it makes mothering a little less challenging at times.
Children like to be able to have some sense of predictability. It may sound silly, but trust me, it helps make them feel comfortable, secure, and happy.
Routines provide little ones with the knowledge of what is coming next or the ability to prepare for an upcoming situation. Not only that but having routines can really strengthen family bonds and make the chaos of everyday parenting a little less daunting.
Hilary Erickson at Pulling Curls offers some great courses and life-changing information. She has a course called Family Routines and it really is worth every penny.
It is so easy to follow and is packed full of great information. She talks about simplifying life through routines and creating a happier family while eliminating feelings of overwhelm and stress.
Anyway, let’s move onto the top 9 ways why routines are important for your child.
1. Gives them security
When children have some sort of predictability and are able to expect what is coming next, they are usually calmer, happier, more cooperative, and have less intense emotions.
All of this helps children feel secure and safe, eliminating any unwanted stress.
2. Helps establish good habits
Kids are like sponges. They soak up everything. Whether it is things you say or things you do, if you do it enough, I can bet you will find your child saying or doing those things too.
My toddler is almost 2 and he is in the “copycat” phase. He tries to copy everything we say and do, and it is kind of adorable.
It is amazing that at such a young age, children are so intently observant. They learn from watching others and soak up all of those new skills, words, or actions in an instant.
Children are so receptive to learning when they are young, that it is a no brainer to help instill GOOD habits right from the start.
Having routines in place helps foster those good habits that will essentially follow them to adulthood.
I have read to my toddler every day as part of his bedtime routine from the time he was a tiny baby. He isn’t even 2 yet and already has grown a love for reading.
When your child’s morning routines consist of brushing their teeth, combing their hair, and making their bed, these simple daily tasks become good habits that will grow up with them.
Involving children in dinner time and helping prepare and cook meals gives them lifelong skills for when they finally enter adulthood.
Routines, such as good sleeping routines and habits can be great for babies and toddlers and will help them establish good sleeping skills and be able to sleep through the night at a young age. Giving you some well-deserved sleep yourself! If that isn’t a reason to establish sleeping routines, then I don’t know what is!
Routines really help children develop good lifelong habits that will serve them later in life, not just in childhood.
3. Teaches patience
We all need to learn a little patience, right? Or maybe it is just me! I am definitely not the most patient person, actually, I probably rank for the most impatient person!
It is a working progress!
But implementing routines and schedules into your child’s life early on will really help them exercise patience.
Routines create expectations and teach children that patience is often required for some things.
There could be parts of the day or week that provide excitement for your child. This could be a soccer practice or something as simple as a play date. Your child may have to wait until a certain day for the event or activity.
Or maybe after they have to complete their routine of chores before they are able to play with friends.
For my busy toddler, he knows if he wants any kind of snack or a treat after dinner time, he has to eat all of his dinner. (Learn my secret to how my toddler isn’t a picky eater here)
This alone teaches him patience and self-control to be able to wait for the things he wants and is excited about.
4. Provides consistency and builds confidence
Routines, whether bedtime, morning, or just everyday ones will provide your child with consistency and build their confidence. Just how I mentioned routines will provide predictability, that predictability also gives children consistency and the confidence of knowing what is coming next.
Children really do love consistency. At least in some things anyway. Routines take away that uncertainty and leave your child feeling confident.
Plus, when your child consistently does the same thing over and over each day or each week, it helps build their confidence in doing it, along with independence and self-reliance.
5. Builds strong family bonds
You may be wondering how an earth a routine for your child will help build and strengthen family bonds. Well, hang in there, it will make sense in a second.
I can recall countless happy memories as a child that happened frequently. Mornings filled with a glass of orange juice and breakfast with my dad or a “donkey” ride up the stairs to bed.
I remember having family and friends over for Sunday dinners and snuggling in bed with my Mum before we started the day.
Simple routines can create lasting memories for children and enhance and strengthen family relationships.
6. Helps prevent meltdowns and avoid power struggles
Like I have said time and time over, routines provide predictability. Children can understand the order of certain events, so this makes mealtime, bedtime, or mornings go a whole lot smoother.
Routines help eliminate the guessing work and teach children that certain things have to be done BEFORE other things can happen.
If children can trust and rely on a routine and know if they get their chores done, teeth brushed, or bed made they then are able to do other more exciting things they are less likely to throw tantrums and fight you over whatever task is at hand.
Well, at least that is the idea anyway!
I can say that even my toddler has grasped this concept quite well and I notice frequently when he is able to hold it together or calm down quickly because he knows the routine of events.
7. Teaches organization
Organization really is what a routine is, to some extent anyway. When you organize certain tasks or events in a day in a way that that follows some sort of time schedule that is basically what a routine is.
Just like organization helps declutter our homes, offices, and essentially our lives, routines can have that exact same effect.
Plus, when our children are on a consistent routine, they are more likely to develop those “organization” skills as a teen and an adult.
If you want to learn more about organization, Hilary Erickson with Pulling Curls has an AMAZING course that will completely transform your house and mindset. Click here to learn more!
8. Cultivates independence
When you start implementing routines into your child’s life at a young age, through consistency and with some time, you will begin to notice your child is more able to do those things without your help and even without being asked.
Now I am not saying you won’t ever have to remind them to do certain tasks or chores but usually, when routines are in place, the child’s independence grows and then isn’t so dependent on you!
9. Offers security during times of change
Everyone goes through changes at some point and the same goes for your children. All children will experience change throughout their lives.
Maybe you have another baby, or you move to a new house. Or your spouse has a shift in work, and he is home more than usual or is at home less.
Whatever the change, some things are just inevitable. Changes can be scary, overwhelming, and stressful for children. But when children have some sort of a routine that will hold true through times of change that gives them some peace and comfort and helps them feel secure while they deal with other things that are changing.
They can also hold onto those simple little things that ARE staying the same and aren’t changing, providing them the knowledge that some things are always familiar and comfortable.
The unknown can be scary for children and that is why routines are SO important for children of all ages.
That doesn’t mean you have to completely go crazy and put in place intense, strict routines and schedules for your kids because let’s be honest, no one likes that!
But developing good healthy routines will really help each day go smoother, make your kids happier, and actually make being a mom a little bit easier too!
Routines for children are needed and a must! They form security, structure, and safety for them.
Each of these 9 reasons will really impact your child and help them become independent, confident, and patient. Along with being able to have good solid habits, organization skills, the ability to handle meltdowns better, and a strong relationship with you!
If you are interested in that course I mentioned that will make family routines a breeze and motherhood soooo much easier here is the link.