Why Is Family Routines Important For Child's Healthy Development?
Created by Janaki Srinivasan Updated on Jun 07, 2020
Parents often wish that life with children should be easy going; no tantrums, no fuss, cheerful and co-operative toddlers is every parent’s fantasy. But at the same time, they know that this is not realistic and feasible. Of course, we can’t and perhaps don’t need perfect children, yet expecting some amount of discipline in them is OK.
Children have their own fun ideas of doing things and of course, do not understand the negative consequences of some activities they do. It is therefore important to bring in some kind of routine in their lives which will help them anticipate things and activities in order. This makes them feel wanted and secure. It has a calming effect when they look forward to certain activities each day. Eventually, they learn to do things on their own, without your assistance.
What is a Family Routine?
Routine basically means how a family organizes its tasks on a day to day basis. It helps members assist each other and strengthen their bond. Usually, families have daily routines (getting ready for school/office, cooking, bedtime, mealtime, etc.), weekly routine (washing, cleaning) and other routines (going on a regular holiday and family get-together).
Why is Family Routines Important to Have?
Curious why are daily routines so important, especially when there is a child at home? Many feel that routines make our lives rigid and monotonous. But, children love and need a routine in their lives. Children handle changes when it is expected, looks familiar and is predictable. This helps them master certain activities in their lives and thus when they grow, they exude confidence and can handle things better. Besides, there are other ways in which a routine helps children develop. Let’s take a look at them.
You don’t need to boss around:Once a routine is set, your child knows what needs to be done when. This eliminates the power struggle. You no longer need to boss or nag the children
Children tend to cooperate:When children know what’s coming next, they tend to cooperate. This greatly reduces stress and anxiety, especially for the parents
No need for reminders:When a routine is set, children learn and start doing little things themselves. For instance, putting away the toys at night, packing their bags for school, brushing their teeth, putting used dishes in the wash area. They don’t need to be reminded about it every day
Kids know and enjoy what they do:When kids know that they will be allowed to play after homework is done, they tend to finish homework quickly. It helps them get on a schedule and they sleep early, wake up early and everything is smooth
You can build in little ‘connection moments’ within the routine:Sneaking in a hug and a kiss makes children feel nice and wanted. Try to include these little necessary additions that strengthen your bond with the kids
Helps you remember important things:Parents are usually overworked and tend to forget little things like giving medicine to the child or paying a bill. If your life is in order, you are less stressed and are able to be on top of things
Offers stability when there’s a change:When your child is used to a routine, normalcy is always present no matter what changes are happening in his/her life (divorce, new school, the addition of a new sibling, etc.). When the regular routine is maintained, your child feels calm and experiences love no matter what the situation is
Tips to Create a Routine for Your Child
It is important to bring in some kind of routine in the life of your child which will help him/her to anticipate things and activities in order. Being a parent you'll also get more time to spend with your ward, and also ensure the healthy overall development of your child. Read on
- At the outset, don’t expect your child to be fully involved. He/she will begin by helping first and then the involvement will gradually increase
- When children start doing things on their own, reward and appreciate them
- When introducing a new activity in the routine for the first time, you may need to put in extra time in the first week so that your child gets enough time to learn and adjust to it
- Sometimes you may have to have a small game to motivate them to do things, like putting away toys
- Getting your child into a routine is not as easy as it sounds. But you have to be patient
- Make it consistent and allow room for flexibility. If there’s an important event on a certain day, some exceptions can be made to the routine on that day. Similarly, during holidays, mealtime/playtime can be extended a bit
- Make small adjustments, wherever necessary. Remember a routine is supposed to strengthen your bond as a family, not hinder it
- Put in small gaps in between two activities where you can bring in helpful elements. For instance, reading and cuddling before going to bed. That way children sleep easily
- Make adjustments where necessary. As days pass, you can remove/add new tasks to strengthen the routine. As children grow routines need to be tweaked to meet the changes
These are just some the ways to get started. Each family is different and each child is unique. Therefore you as a parent need to decide what works for your family and get that rolling. When things are in place, children grow in an environment that is friendly and encouraging. This goes a long way in their emotional development. If you don’t have a routine yet, set up one soon and experience the change.
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