I’m a fly by the seat of my pants type person. I like to wake up, ease into my day, see how I feel and create a plan based on that. Since having kids, my life certainly is more predictable and less frivolous. Whatever rhythm we have had has been totally undermined by going home for the Holidays. We’ve been having a blast celebrating, taking in the sites of the season, visiting with family and old friend. But, a busy schedule coupled with a three hour time change has meant life has been anything but predictable. So I’m gathering resources, writing down a few notes, and even did a bit of research on the benefits of a well-established routine for kids. Here is what I’ve found on toddler routine benefits and examples.
Routine for Kids: Why Have One and What are the Benefits?
Every day in a young child’s life is laden with learning. So much is brand new. So much time is spent on working on the mastery of new concepts, language, or skills. What a routine does is it makes as much so much of regular life predictable and concrete. As a result, their energy and attention can be saved for learning. My mom, a former early childhood educator and elementary school principal recently said to me, the teachers that had the most expected schedules set up in their classroom is where the greatest imagination and learning happened. Why? Because young students didn’t have to give any thought to what was coming next, they could focus on what was at hand. [bctt tweet=”It is in having a set routine that the magic of learning through play can really happen.”]
Requests to clean up seem less arbitrary: If kids at home always play after breakfast until, say the timer goes, and then it’s always clean up, your request to clean seems less like a request and more necessary.
Transitions are made easier: For instance, when outdoor play is typically followed by lunch-time kids know what to expect and can handle leaving the playground better.
Safety and control are made easier: While putting your children’s seatbelts on or making them wear a helmet may seem essential, it is also part of their routine to go in a car or ride a bike. Always brushing your teeth after putting on PJs makes it seem assumed and necessary. When we cross the street, we always sing a song to cue handholding again to avoid it seeming optional.
A well-established routine makes things easier on Mom and Dad: If you have a general framework to work from, your day will seem more seamless and require less thought and planning in the moment.
When life gets unpredictable, maintaining a routine can make coping easier: Moving, a friend changing schools, or a death in the family all make life seem hard and even scary. Business as usual for everything else becomes especially pertinent in times like these. See more on what a clinical psychologist says on the necessity of routines here.
Set Up Your Own Visual Routine
Get yours here.
Are there any benefits you’ve noticed in having a routine or any tips to having one? Please share below!
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