One thing that I learnt from lockdown is the importance of a daily routine for kids and adults. Daily routine has helped me set the wheels in motion for the day where everyone knows what is to be done and when. From online school to play time, screen to family time, it became easy for my kids to follow the schedule and likewise easy for me to get things done on time.
I witnessed a sense of responsibility in my kids as now they knew when they have to get up and get ready, when they have to study and when they have to play. Life got more organised and systematic with a routine in place.
So now lets see how a routine can help our kids.
- Be on Schedule: When your child learns to be on a routine, the body adapts to the schedule and knows when to fall a sleep, when to eat, regular bowl movements, when to be energised and play and when to take a nap.
- Family Bonding: With routine in place, the child knows that weekends are for family when breakfast to dinner is done together. The child will not only look forward to this time, but also take this as a special time and carry forward this as a tradition.
- Calmer environment: When everyone knows what to do, there is less stress and anxiety in the air. The child knows what’s to be done next so there is no shouting, arguing and ordering from the parents or child’s end.
- Make them independent: With a routine, the child knows when he/she has to brush their teeth, eat their meals and change into nightwear. They feel more independent as they know what is to be down next rather than wait for parents to command them.
- Gets them excited about what’s next: When the kids know that Friday afternoon is park time, they look forward to that time. Weekend time with family playing games gets kids excited in advance and they look forward to spending that time with their family.
- Offers stability even during a change: A new member in the family, travelling, guest have come over, be it anything, the child will find his/her calmness as he/she knows the routine. Any new change which could otherwise cause stress is easily taken care of.
But while we know that a routine can help kids plan and follow a set pattern, you should also teach them to be flexible as there are days when changes will happen and things may have to be done differently. For example, if there is a carnival happening, plan it with the kids before the date goes by, by adjusting the routine. When a schedule becomes too regimented or strict it can have an reverse impact on the child. The routine is meant to make day to day life easy but it don’t mean that it’s the last word and needs to be followed stringently.
How to set a routine for your child?
- Make it easy to adapt: A rigid and a strict schedule will make your child feel trapped rather than independent. Make it easy to follow and don’t lay strict deadlines.
- Keep room for change: A routine should accommodate an unplanned event or a spontaneous plan.
- Make it fun: When things are easy and doable, both the parent and child enjoy the routine. Add more activities that your child enjoys like time for art and craft or dance. Music time, reading time or playing with friends time should be included to make the routine fun for kids to follow.
- Include yourself: A routine set for kids doesn’t mean you are off duty since your kids know what is to be done. Include yourself in their routine. Be a part of their games or play time. Take kids to park and meet their friends. Make time to put them to bed and read a book. This way, the child will be excited about the bed time as he/she knows that his/her parents are going to be around tucking them to sleep.
- Adjust as needed: As time goes by, you will realise what works and what doesn’t work for your child. Also with time, routine needs to be changed. As a pre schooler, study time was just one hour but next year that time might go up an extra hour as the level of grade increases.
And while we follow all these, we need to make sure that the routine is healthy and positive for the child and the family as a whole.
Also read my blog on 5 ways to raise a Positive child here.
This blog is a part of #myfriendalexa 2021 by Blogchatter