Children are their best selves when they have a routine. They love the predictability and security that it gives them—they love structure! They have positive behavior when they know what to expect and what is expected of them. Routines become habits which guides them to independence—they eventually won’t need their parents’ help and will naturally implement their daily routine without the need of supervision or prompting. It could be fun for parents and their children to create a morning, afternoon (for the weekend), and evening routine together.
KLA Schools say in their article, “The Importance of Routine for Children”, that children benefit greatly from routine: increased confidence and independence, greater self-control, stress reduction, and exposure to healthy habits. It’s important to create a routine that is consistent and specific to the child and their needs. There are only positive outcomes when it comes to implementing a routine. If you just thought, “what about when the routine is unavoidably broken”, that next thought should be “this is a perfect time to teach them a lesson on being flexible.” As parents we know that life won’t always go to plan, so when it happens to our children, we will know to teach them how to make adjustments.
Tips on implementing a daily routine your child can follow and eventually perform independently:
1. Consistency is key. Execute the daily routine—DAILY.
2. Create a daily routine WITH your child.
3. Make a visual chart of your daily routine and a way for your child to check things off after completion.
4. Celebrate your child when they successfully check things off of their daily routine chart.
5. Slowly decrease parental supervision as the child moves into independence.
If you don’t already have an established routine or a half-established routine, then the time is now to put one in place. I promise you, when you develop a routine, you will see a noticeable change in no time. When you create a routine with your child and make a visual to follow daily, you’re teaching them accountability and responsibility. If they miss any part of their daily routine, they can only look to themselves for not following through.
According to Melbourne Child Psychology, routines teach and create boundaries, and lack of routine allows us to completely ignore boundaries. Certain boundaries can be created when developing consequences for certain actions. For example, if you have an established rule of no juice until after dinner and only water during dinner, then the boundary and expectation has been set.
Share your daily routines with us! Comment below or let us know on Facebook and Instagram. Your routine could help other parents and their children. I’m going to share our simple evening routine. This routine—when done consistently—has my girls sleep well throughout the night.
Nighttime routine with a 4-year-old and 11-month-old:
1. Set timer and Nalani cleans up her toys before the timer beeps.
2. Nalani has recently altered her nighttime routine. She independently washes her hands, then her face, and finally her teeth. (I used to wash/brush in the evening.)
3. Both girls get bathed in the tub.
4. We read a story and say our prayers.
5. Nalani gets in the bed while Noelle gets relaxed before she’s laid down.
*The most recent adjustments to their nighttime routine:*
· Moved to new home
· Girls started sharing a room per Nalani’s request
· Nalani has to adjust to not having on her projector
· Noelle has to adjust to sharing a room with her sister instead of her parents
· They started going to sleep hours earlier (they’re on a regular bed”time” schedule to get a full 12 hours of sleep)
These new adjustments to their nighttime routine have created a peaceful night’s sleep for everyone, and an even better morning to follow. We’re excited to read all of your morning, afternoon, and evening/nighttime routines.
***Go watch the IG Reel (@thelink2joinhearts) that Nalani recorded to show you her nighttime routine.***
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