Routines and schedules are a normal part of our everyday lives. You may have one daily routine for weekdays and another for the weekend. Or maybe you have a set routine for getting ready in the morning or getting the children ready for bed at night. While routines help adults stay on track and on time, they are even more important for children. Children encounter a plethora of new stimuli every day, from new words and sounds to new friends and experiences. This can be overwhelming and cause a child to feel anxious. Having a set routine can establish a sense of normalcy and predictability so that a child can feel they have some control throughout their day. Read on to discover benefits, tips, and things to know about having a daily routine for your child.
Provides a Sense of Belonging
A predictable schedule at home helps children feel safe, secure, and valued. It can strengthen family bonds and values when family-time is built into the routine. For example, eating dinner together or reading a bedtime story can promote family connectedness. When activities, such as playtime or screen time, are reserved for specific times in the day, parents are less likely to experience a struggle from their children when it is time to transition to something else.
Establishing a routine can promote safe practices throughout the day. For example, teaching a child to stand in a specific spot or place their hand in a specific area when they get out of the car (such as a taillight) can help prevent them from running into the road. Also, having a set afterschool routine can be essential for a child’s safety. They learn where to go to be picked up and who will be there to pick them up. This can prevent a potentially dangerous situation and gives them a sense of control over their own safety.
Cultivates Healthy Habits
Creating a routine is a wonderful way to teach children healthy habits. When a child learns that washing hands always comes after using the restroom and brushing teeth always occurs twice a day, they can take ownership of their own health. Including periods of daily exercises, such as an evening family walk or playtime in the backyard, promotes a healthy way of thinking that can follow a child throughout their lives. Routines are also important for a child’s internal clock. When bedtime and wake time are consistent, their bodies know when it’s time to rest so they can get enough sleep at night.
Encourages Cooperation and Responsibility
Family routines are essential for getting through the day with as little stress as possible. As they grow accustomed to their routine, children can take more responsibility for themselves and will need fewer reminders from parents. When family chores, such as setting the table or feeding a pet, are part of the routine, children gain responsibility and simple skills such as time management. This also helps as they enter school and experience classroom routines. Children are better able to cooperate with their peers and teachers when they are already accustomed to following routines.
Change is inevitable but having a predictable routine can help children cope better with both big and small changes. This is especially important when big changes occur that can cause high anxiety, such as the deployment of a parent, a move to a new city, or the death of a loved one. When a family tries to stay as close to routine as possible, it can give a child the sense of having control amid uncontrollable change. When big changes are expected, such as starting school, easing a child into a new routine in advance can decrease anxiety and increase excitement. For example, you may need to shift bedtime, so your child wakes up early enough to accomplish the morning routine and get to school on time.
Having routines outside the home can also foster a sense of safety and stability for children. To promote success and enjoyment for your child, choose a Franklin, TN, childcare facility that incorporates a predictable daily routine. THE Children’s Academy provides the stability of both a set routine and a loving environment, giving families confidence that their children are well cared for. For preschool childcare in Franklin, TN, and Spring Hill, TN, contact THE Children’s Academy today!
We have two locations: Franklin, TN, at (615) 790-2273 or in Spring Hill, TN, at (615) 302-0950.