Resolutions For Toddler Routines
Are you a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of parent when it comes to toddler/preschool age routines? Do usually feel satisfied to just ‘wing it’ when it comes to parenting and structure? OR are you the parent who monitors your preschooler’s every action, ensuring every task is managed on a tight timetable scheduled to precision?
THE BENEFIT OF STRUCTURED ROUTINES FOR A YOUNG LEARNER
Parenting and family researchers suggest that, while there is a great deal of room for individual flexibility around toddler routines, children who have parents who encourage routines and structure do best because this behavior provides a sense of certainty and security for the child. This is important at all ages, but particularly in early childhood.
There are a number of other reasons that routines are helpful for your toddler’s development:
- Routines can help children understand time and time management.
- Routines can help children get used to having chores.
- Routines can establish important habits such as brushing teeth and hair.
- Routines can strengthen relationships by focusing on time together.
For families with toddlers and preschoolers, the following routines may be helpful:
- Structured morning preparations and routines
- Structured mealtime routines
- Structured bedtime routines
- Structured childcare routines
- Structured playdates
When you create a routine for your little one, it doesn’t have to be boring. You can create exciting yet structured routines around things like:
- Saturday morning family time
- Friday night sports or DVD night
- Cheap Tuesday take-out night (or even make takeaway at home)
Routines can be useful for establishing boundaries and guidelines for toddlers, as well as teaching good habits, and improving efficiency. Plus they can help our children feel more comfortable and secure in knowing that there is certainty and predictability in their lives. While it can be nice, at times, to just go with the flow, a structured routine for busy, stressful, or important and even fun times can make family life smoother and more effective.