Routine For Kids – How To Set Up A Daily Routine & Its Benefits?
Everyone fears the unknown. I think the last few years of the pandemic has completely changed the way we look at our lives. With schools going online, kids’ semblance of a routine has flown out of the window. Now more than ever, we, as parents, need to establish a daily routine for kids actively.
Creating a routine for kids can be a fun exercise by itself. Involve your kid in preparing the schedule, so they feel empowered and confident. They also feel in control of their time and have something to look forward to.
A daily routine for kids should largely call out the following things:
- Bath time
- Nap time
- Study time
- Play time
- Study time
I struggled quite a lot in the initial days of the lockdown, with the entire family cooped up in the house together. With no daily routine, my kid would run the entire day amok. I soon discovered that he was wasteful with his time, but it was not his fault. As a parent, it is our responsibility to chalk out a daily routine for kids to know exactly what to do with their time meaningfully. The benefits of having a routine are many, but I will talk about the ones which I found most beneficial.
Sets the Body Clock
Having a set daily routine helps the kid get into a natural routine with their body. Consistent time for a bath or reading a book right before going to sleep builds into their internal routine, and after a few days of establishing a said routine, you will see that your child naturally winds down for sleep time.
Builds Good Habits
A consistent routine helps the kid build habits for life. They say if you do something continuously for 21 days, it becomes a habit. So even though my kid had an initial fuss about brushing at night, now I do not have to run after him. This is also beneficial in the long run as they have built these good habits as children.
Previously, there was no scheduled TV time for my kid. As working parents, we would also have a lot of office work throughout the day. So we could not monitor his activities every minute of the day. He ended up watching a lot of TV, and if we asked him not to, it would lead to conflicts. The same was true about packing up toys or changing into nightclothes. However, after the daily routine was in place, such arguments were a thing of the past. The child becomes familiarized to complete his tasks without an issue.
Makes Kids Feel Secure
I had tried several ideas to do away with the boredom, but the nagging question of “What should I do now?” kept coming back. However, after I have created a daily routine, I see that a lot of the stress and anxiety has gone away. My kid knows exactly what he must do at which hour of the day. So as parents, we do not have to run after him saying “do this” and “do that”. He naturally refers to the daily routine stuck to my fridge, treats it as a checklist, and goes through the day.
Makes Kids Feel Confident
Children are often made to feel like the second-class citizens of the home as they are constantly being forced to do things. They take pride in their actions and achieving them. Establishing a daily routine with them as equal partners make them feel valued. Nowadays, when I see my kid switch off the TV and go pick up his school books at exactly 5 PM because that is “Study Time”, I am beaming with joy.
Establishes Family Rituals
A daily routine is not just great for your kid but also for the entire family. Having a scheduled time for dinner where the entire family sits together at the table is an excellent way to bond. The kid also notices that the family is coming together and spending quality time, and these will be imbibed in them from a young age. He will carry on the routine much later in his life.
Makes Kids Look Forward To Events
Create special events like “Saturday Ice Cream Day” or “Friday Movie Night” so that kids are looking forward to special events in the routine. This can also be a reward for good behaviour, and positive reinforcement always works! Also, read another article on the reasons why you should encourage your kids to stay physically active.
So, Is Creating The Routine Challenging?
Reading the above, you will say, No, right? Who said a daily routine should be boring? Fill it with fun bits. The routine is not etched on stone, so be flexible with it. Then, kids tend to get weary of it. While it helps the family organize themselves, always leave some wriggle room to work around some components. A well-planned routine is not just important for kids but also for us as parents.
A regular routine always makes me feel like I am doing an excellent job as a parent and gives me a sense of achievement. It also compartmentalizes important tasks so that I am not stressed. I am sure that he will do the homework by this time; I do not have to fret over it. It also creates a calmer ambience at home. There is no discord about what will be done at certain times or when everyone should have dinner.
To Sum Up
In the volatile world that we live in, it is important to provide stability to children – and that is exactly what a daily routine does. There will be days when kids will not adhere to it 100%, but don’t beat yourself up about it. I find creating the routine with my kid and putting it up in a common area where we can all view it helpful. We are all going through some challenging times, and this is just a tool to make it better. It ensures that we are all owning it and working towards it together.