The Power of Routine

The Power of Routine

22 August 2023

As parents we all know there’s a lot to keep track of. It’s mostly a mad rush, right?

“They” say to wake up way before your kids in the morning. You know, for a little quiet time to find your Zen. Yeah. That’s what they say … but if hustling everyone out the door while frantically searching for little shoes that have inexplicably gone missing (most mornings) sound too familiar, you need help.

The proof is in: When kids stick to a routine, they’re more likely to eat, sleep, and feel better – and turn healthy choices into habits. Children want to feel secure, stable and loved. When they know what to expect and what is expected of them, they feel confident and safe.

Yet, many parents cringe when they hear the word “routine” because it brings to mind strict schedules and set times for everything. The good news is that routines offer flexibility without losing predictability. Where to start?

We have a few pointers:

  • Change one part of the day at a time. Start with the evenings because they prepare you for an organized morning. Get the kids to pack backpacks, musical instruments, or sports equipment the night before. Check homework books so permission slips, gym clothes and projects aren’t forgotten. And prep lunches and lay out school uniforms for the next day.
  • Make it visible. Have a chart on the wall as a handy reminder of what needs to be done without having to nag. Ensure that the routine is age appropriate and realistic. Keep it simple and be positive regardless of their reaction. “I know you don’t want to brush your teeth because you had so much fun. But look at the chart, it’s 7.30pm, and that means it’s time to get ready for bed.” Also, be part of the chart. Let your child know they are important, and that in that moment, you don’t have to be anywhere else – not at work, not at school, just right there in the moment with them.
  • Stick to the non-negotiables. Who has to be in bed at what time? Also, give them some choices. Reading a story, listening to soft music or taking time to talk about their day, their choice.
  • Don’t be too rigid. Kids need to learn how to be flexible and deal with minor changes. If there’s an interruption to the routine, tell your child, “I know we usually do X, but today we are going to do Y because … tomorrow we will go back to our usual schedule.” If most of the day is predictable, they will be able to deal with small changes, especially if they are prepared and see you modelling calm behavior as you deal with the unpredictable.
  • Acknowledge their effort. There’s often resistance to change, so there will be a period of readjustment.

It’s clear that the benefits of routine for kids are significant and far reaching. Research shows that kids who grow up without routines find it harder to take care of themselves as young adults.

Consistent tasks and skills are the best way to ultimately gain independence and achieve success. This is true for daily tasks that your kiddo completes.

Good luck!


DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.

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