Why Routines Are Important For Kids
A routine lets a child know what to expect. A routine provides them with a sense that life is predictable. A routine is calming, providing a child with a sense of security.
A routine allows our kids to take part in our daily activities. A routine can help encourage independence in your kids.
When your child knows what to expect is coming next, they’re more willing to do it (period), but also more willing to do it on their own. How can we encourage this through routine? Often the routines we put in place circle around our daily, life skills. Take a look at some of our typical daily routines:
Morning Routine: Wake up, watch a show, make breakfast, potty, eat breakfast, getting dressed, put shoes and coat on, and out the door.
Naptime Routine: Make lunch, eat lunch, play a little, read a book and then naptime.
Bedtime Routine: Take a bath, put pajamas on, brush teeth, potty, read a book, and then bedtime.
If we take a look at the routines that we set in place for the children, we can identify where they can start to take over a task on their own.
Start by evaluating what your child is capable of, developmentally, maybe your one year old can try feeding themselves breakfast, your four year old is ready to start dressing themselves in the morning, or your six year old is ready brush their own hair.
Don’t be discouraged about having to carve out more time for your child to do things on their own. Eventually, they’ll get the hang of it. And you won’t need to be there to help them out. You may be able to find more time in your morning by simply reorganizing your routine. Instead of getting your child dressed after breakfast, just before leaving for school, give them their clothing to put on earlier in the morning, while you are making breakfast, packing lunches, or getting yourself ready. This has an added benefit of keeping them busy while you are getting ready. Before you know it, you’ll find yourself with extra time in the morning!