All families need several routines to get through the day with as little stress as possible. Routines establish structure, help kids navigate the unknown, and create healthy habits in the long run. They can also keep the house running smoothly and consistently.
Helps kids feel safe and in control
Many people fear the unknown. Have you ever noticed your child develop an aversion to something just because it was new and completely unknown? Kids are confronted with the unknown all the time. After all, part of growing up is learning about the world around them. Routines can help kids feel safe and in control. Knowing how to manage what they can control may help children handle big, unexpected changes as they come up. For example, moving to a new house in an unknown city can be strange and even upsetting for children. Routines at bedtime and on weekends can help the change feel less scary.
Creates healthy habits
Routines also can create healthy habits that children may carry through to adulthood. Think about routines that are second nature now – brushing teeth, finishing homework, tidying your room: these are all habits that you learn when you’re young and continue to do as you grow older. If children do not form these habits when they are young, the changes that come with transitioning through higher levels of school or adulthood may seem overwhelming.
If you’re new to forming routines for your children, start with a bedtime routine. You may already have one from when they were a baby: bath time, story time, then bedtime. Tweak that routine for your child now. Maybe you can add brushing teeth before a bath, snuggling and talking for a little bit, reading a story, and then lights out.
Reduces stress in the household
Wrangling everyone and everything in the household can be chaotic for parents. Morning routines, getting dinner ready, and putting the kids to bed can be especially stressful for everyone. However, when kids have routines to follow, it can make getting things done easier for them and for parents. It’ll also teach kids the importance of time management and being organized.
For example, if mornings are exceptionally crazy, maybe setting a nighttime routine for your child will help. Have them pick their outfit for school tomorrow and pack their backpack so it’s ready to go.
Makes spontaneity and special occasions more rewarding
Maintaining routines are important, but they go hand-in-hand with being flexible and spontaneous. It’s okay to break the rules once in a while: staying up past bedtime to finish a movie with the family, leaving the dinner dishes in the sink until morning, or waiting to tidy the house in favor of going to the park. When you stick to a routine most of the time, those special occasions where you break the rules feel even more exciting and rewarding.
Create a daytime routine with Stratford School
Looking for more activities to add to your child’s daytime routine? Check out Stratford School’s variety of before and after school programs. We offer a array of after school clubs that are educational and fun, from dance and math club to choir and chess. We also have extended day programs for preschoolers, pre-k students, and elementary students. Learn more about our programs today!