Why have a routine at home and how to start one
We all have different opinions on a routine. Some believe it’s a waste of time and energy while others can’t live sanely without it. But having a daily routine with your young children from morning to bedtime, will help you create a settled environment and calm children.
- An organised and predictable environment, can give children certainty and make them feel safe and secure. Which therefore prevent anxiety.
- Routine helps you establish boundaries for young children. Which will help them control their emotion.
- Children will recognise their daily events such as dropping off at nursery or going to supermarket. So you won’t be knocked back by an episode of tantrum.
- Family time like snuggles to read a story before bed, will be a part of the day to look forward to.
- Healthy habits like washing hands before meal times and brushing teeth, morning and evening, will become natural exercise till adulthood.
- It will help your child’s body clock to set. Their body will know when it’s time to go to sleep and when to wake up. As we all know the benefit of good sleep to children’s development, learning and health.
- A daily routine will reduce stress to parents. It will make them more organised and in control, as well as give them more personal time to relax.
- Knowing what to expect will reduce arguments and upsets. Because everyone in the household will know what’s expected of them.
- A routine will help your child become independent and self-disciplined. They will start to take charge of what they need to do without having to be told.
- A good routine will help children deal with unexpected events. Because they have the familiarity of their daily structure to support them.
Every family is different. Therefore, routines are very individual to each family. However, for a routine to work in your household it needs to be regular, consistent and organised. To avoid being overwhelmed by the whole day, start managing the parts that are most chaotic and stressful, like mornings before leaving the house or bedtime.
How to start:
The thought of starting a routine may sound like mission impossible when you are working and have to run to Daycare centres and after school activities. Bbut in the long run it’s beneficial at calming the children and reducing chaos and stress.
- Reassure you children by sharing with them what’s going to happen, like tidy up before dinner or will read a book after a bath.
- Think about what you need in order to avoid chaos, like knowing what time you need to get out of bed and what time your children need to be up.
- The evening before, have their clothes or school uniforms ready in their rooms, have breakfast items laid in your kitchen table, have your clothes, handbag, car keys ready.
- Decide a suitable bedtime for your child, it may vary as per your children’s age and what time you need to leave your house in the morning. You may need to put the baby to bed for 7pm and a 6 years old at 7.30pm.
- Plan an evening routine that will help them to understand bed time is coming and start to prepare for sleep: Turn screens off first, have a bath, change nappies or use the toilet and then snuggle up for a story time before settling into bed.
- Consider initially using a chart or a table with pictures to help your children understand. It may be very useful for your children to know when it’s home day and when it’s nursery day.
Remember to be patient because it takes time for children to get used to a routine. You also don’t have to have a structure for a full day, if night time is what you find stressful, you can work on a routine for that part of the day only.
Happy parents, happy children 🙂