Why Does Your Child Need a Routine?
Families often face morning challenges while preparing for their busy day. As alarms buzz and everyone struggles to awake, frustrating emotions can get the day off to a bad start. In spite of your best parental intentions, the morning pandemonium in your home can result in toddlers throwing tantrums and children arguing about eating breakfast. Having an established morning routine, however, can turn your chaotic mornings into a pleasant one.
Let us first understand why having a routine is important for children. Later on we will see how we can effectively establish a set routine for kids everyday.
An established routine will allow children some independence without you having to stress out over what still needs to be done. Before leaving their room children should get dressed and make their bed, then use the bathroom, wash hands and brush teeth. They can then pack their bags for school and check for any pending work.
Once they have gotten everything ready, they should have a bath and wear their uniform. Eat breakfast on time to avoid any last minute hogging on food and go to school safely.
The afternoon is a great time to connect with your kids. Having a routine will make sure this time is not lost to bad habits. Kids just like grown-ups need a little time to relax after school. A few simple tricks can help make this easy.
Kids should put their things away and freshen up. During an afternoon snack children can share papers and work they’ve brought home as they talk about their day at school.
When you get home from work, put away your things from the day and take a moment to connect over papers they’ve brought home and check their homework. As dinner is prepared, have them help set the table and take care of any additional chores.
Next is a little more individualized. Some children will be okay to start in on their homework, where others may need to work off some energy and play. Children need a minimum of 60 minutes of exercise per day.
Research has shown numerous benefits to eating dinner together as a family at least 4 times during the week. Family dinners have been linked to a lower risk of obesity, substance abuse, eating disorders, and an increased chance of academic success. This is an opportunity for parents to teach healthy communication skills to children by asking questions and listening to answers. Parents can share family values while discussing age appropriate current events and telling stories that teach relevant lessons.
Everyone can play a role in a successful family dinner routine. From menu planning to grocery shopping there is a lot that goes into making this work during the week. In addition to setting the table and helping prepare food, children should also be helping to clear the table and put the dishes in the sink.
The bedtime routine will include hygiene as one of the first steps before hopping on the bed. Using the bathroom, brushing teeth and washing hands and feet properly before going to bed will ensure a good night’s sleep for children of all ages. Bedtime should also include quiet reading time either with a parent or independently. A routine will help to alleviate some of the stress around lights out.
Humans by nature like things that are organized and well defined. This holds true for routines as well. Kids need a routine to stick to, we can help them have a good routine by following the above mentioned chronology. Forming good habits is never easy as it requires a lot of patience. Even if you fail in the first few days, never give up and try hard to stick to the plan and your kids will slowly start succeeding!
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