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Did you grow up with a set daily routine? You woke up at the same time every day. Did you eat all meals at the same time daily? This was my life.
I grew up in an Air Force family. My life was very structured and planned out. So planned out that months before my Father would get orders to another state, my Mother was already sorting and pitching things that would not move with us. We moved every 3.5 years like clockwork, many times right down to the very day.
Having a routine and knowing what the day held for us before the day came made life easier. Obviously, there were hiccups along the way. Nothing goes quite as planned all the time.
To this day I run my home on a very routine basis. Meal times, bedtimes, activities, everything I can fit on a schedule goes on one. This has been a GODsend for my family as I have a few boys that are very rambunctious and need to know whats coming to keep them from completely losing it.
Routines in Children
Routines are very important for children of all ages. They can be especially important to young children, children who are just starting school, or any child going through a transition in life. Routines are important because they give your child structure and there are safety and comfort in knowing what will come next.
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Routines are especially important during transitional times, like going to bed, or waking for school. All humans have what is known as “fear of the unknown”. We have it at different levels, and children have it as well. For a child, fear of the unknown concerning what will happen during their day can be very strong. In fact, it can be strong enough to be emotionally and physically upsetting, creating anxiety that manifests itself in a variety of ways including but not limited to tantrums, disobedience, crying, etc. If it helps your child, make a Stress ball for them.
The very definition of growing up involves tons of change. Your child’s body will change, their appearance will change, hormones will affect how they feel, they will meet people who come and go in their lives, and they will have different expectations placed on them as they get older. So much change happening at once can be very overwhelming and that is another reason why a routine or daily schedule can help provide some stability in their lives.
Why are routines in children so important?
- They help your child know what to expect.
- They reduce “fear of the unknown”, which leads to anxiety.
- They give children a sense of self-discipline.
- They build responsibility and confidence.
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As you can see, there are many reasons why routines in children is so important. While it can’t always be helped, you should try to maintain the routine as much as possible at home and for your children. There will be times when something comes up, there is an emergency, or you have to change plans suddenly, and as your child grows older, he will learn how to cope with changes in the routine more easily. That said, laying the groundwork with a regular routine and sticking with it is very important.
Do you have a family routine you follow? What is it?