Children benefit in a number of ways from having well established routines. Families are often very busy these days with children and parents going about in several directions to meet their various responsibilities. However, by having a set routine for many of the basics can help kids establish a sense of security, making them calmer and better behaved.
Babies and very young children are flexible little people and do well working around the schedules of their parents and other carers. As long as they are provided with ample time for eating, sleeping, cuddling, and mindful interaction, they tend to be satisfied. In the beginning, it matters very little whether they are expected to sleep during the traditionally favoured night time hours or whether their days and nights get reversed to accommodate the unusual hours that Mum and Dad are at work. All that matters is that they have a routine of some sort so that they can know what to anticipate and they will likely be happy to cooperate.
The Benefits of Routines
Being organised is a skill that kids can learn and when they do, their lives will be easier for them to manage. Well established routines are quite beneficial in the development of organisational skills, helping kids to manage their time and responsibilities in positive ways.
Additionally, parents usually notice fewer behavioural problems when they run their households in a manner that allows the kids consistency and routine. It certainly seems logical that kids would be more apt to do the things that their parents want them to do if they could be sure just what those things are. Children who routinely wake at the same time each morning, wash up, have breakfast, and then gather their packs have an easier time getting off to school that their peers who live in more chaotic environments. Since they know what to expect of their mornings, they are not inclined to feel disorganised and frustrated, melting down over every little thing. The same benefits apply to homework and chores – when things are done on a regular, routine basis, they get done better and more efficiently.
Workable Family Routines
Family routines need to be consistent, while allowing for a bit of flexibility. Kids, by their very nature, are somewhat unpredictable and just when parents get to the point where they think they’ve got a handle on things; their kids are likely to stir up the pot a bit.
Children have a knack for getting sick at the most inconvenient times, and something as simple as an ear infection can turn a normally self-sufficient and cooperative child into a little dynamo of tears, requiring that normal daily routines be amended.
Additionally, as children grow, their mealtime needs, sleep schedules, and outside commitments change, and family routines must adjust to accommodate these changes. Running to various activities and making time to stay directly involved in children’s lives while keeping a household running smoothly requires organisation and determination, but it can be done. The rewards of having a well-run household where all family members work within a comfortable routine are plentiful — and well worth the effort.