All families need some type of structure and routine that brings a sense of familiarity in their lives.
This is necessary because it gives your children a sense of security and teaches them important time management skills. In this article, we will explore the role a daily routine can play in your kids’ lives along with some tips to help you create the ultimate routine based on your family’s needs.
Why a routine is important for your kids
With the holidays right around the corner, you may be wondering how you will be able to get everything done all while keeping your kids’ behavior in check. They probably will be rambunctious these days.
And it can get quite hectic when they’re constantly screaming and running around frantically like wild creatures in the forest. The mess, the noise, the chaos … This can be a bit much, especially when you’re trying to enjoy a relaxing holiday with your loved ones.
Even under the usual circumstances (your children being at school for most of the day), kids of all ages can really benefit from a daily routine. It helps them feel rooted and allows them to assimilate your family’s way of doing things.
With that said, there is no standard daily routine for children.
There isn’t a specific format that you’re compelled to follow. On the contrary, establishing a routine is more about creating one that works for you and best suits your family’s needs.
In addition to that, a routine gives your kids an idea about your priorities as a family. So when you include important or meaningful elements in your family’s life, you’re also letting your kids know what matters and what they should expect/aim to accomplish every day.
Your kids’ daily routine can include:
Getting ready in the morning (eating breakfast, making the bed, brushing teeth, …)
Taking a bath, taking a nap for really young toddlers
Physical activity (going for a walk, family yoga, soccer, badminton, running, …)
House chores, cooking, cleaning, tidying up their room and play space
Learning (flashcards, exercise sheets, doing homework, …)
Fun activities (arts and crafts, writing, drawing, legos, board games …)
Playing outside, going for a bike ride
Bedtime (getting into PJs, bedtime story, sleep)
Tips for creating a routine for your kids
A daily routine doesn’t necessarily mean a strict schedule that needs to be followed down to a “T.”
You can still encourage your kids to do the things they genuinely enjoy without inhibiting their imagination. The ultimate goal is to give them a sense of structure and security all while preserving their freedom and allowing them to exercise their creativity.
You don’t have to have a fixed time for every activity. Sometimes you may have other matters to tend to, so the routine will be delayed by, say 30-minutes or an hour, but you can still follow the same pattern without the delay disrupting your day entirely.
Your routine doesn’t have to be rigid, but it should be consistent and predictable. So, if you’ve been struggling with finding that perfect balance in your days, here are some tips to set you off the right path.
No.1: Get your children involved
While some tasks are non-negotiable (i.e., organizing toys, doing homework, etc), you can still allow your kids to have some say over how their day is structured. This helps your children incorporate activities they genuinely enjoy all while instilling them with a sense of responsibility.
No.2: Use pictures (for toddlers)
Having your routine in a place where everyone can see it is a great reminder for the tasks to be completed. So, if your kids are too young to read, you can use images that describe each item in the routine. You can then put them up following the typical order of the day.
No.3: Have a back-up plan
Sometimes, the unpredictable happens. So you end up having to take an important phone call. Or maybe you have to run an unexpected errand. Either way, you may be wondering how to occupy your children while you’re busy. Having a few back-up activities that you can whip out in short notice can be life-saving (crafts, puzzles, virtual field trips, etc…)
A calm, quiet, and serene home does not just casually happen.
It takes a lot of planning, hard work, and determination. If you’re looking to minimize chaos and build a more peaceful and predictable environment, you need to establish a routine for your kids.
As long as your routine is in harmony with other important elements in your life, then you can begin to see the dramatic changes more structure can have on your children.
As time goes by, you’ll start to see what works and what doesn’t. Keep in mind that this routine is supposed to help your family not constrain it, and make sure that it’s positive and healthy for everyone in the family!