The past couple of weeks have been busy for our family as we prepare to move to another city. My husband started his new job last month so I have been holding down the fort with little man while he travels back and forth on weekends. Being solo with a toddler has given me so much empathy and respect for any parent raising children alone either permanently or for an extended period of time.
As we were going about our day, I started thinking about how grateful I was to have routines in place for our family and how important they are to my husband and I as parents. I wanted to share my perspective on why I value routines as a mom and former classroom teacher. I have experienced first hand how they positively impact children and have recognized the value for a long time. Here are my top three reasons why I love routines!
I think it is so important for a child to know what to expect. It eliminates anxiety about when things will happen and creates some type of order/structure throughout the day. It also helps with travel keeping specific routines in place (to the best of your ability). Children are familiar with them in the midst of many unknowns which can be comforting. We like to keep morning, nap, bedtime, and meals structured!
Having routines in place help children learn what is expected of them. It helps eliminate “power struggles” or arguments about doing certain things. Children are able to practice follow through with expectations and establish independence and responsibility for certain tasks. For example, our son knows it is his job to clean up his toys before we start our bed time routine and is responsible to do so. Other expectations or “jobs” include putting clothes in the hamper, throwing trash away, choosing books, filling up water cup, brushing teeth, etc. Routines and expectations can be built by modeling…
I do: You show your child how to complete tasks and what that looks like
We do: You encourage your child to help you complete the task together
You do: You give control to your child and allow them to practice independently
3.Provides Special “Rituals”
When you create routines you are creating things that are specific to you and your family and children (or classroom). This can help foster relationships by allowing those special moments to take place on a daily basis. It can be as simple as a good morning song, night time prayer, dedicated family time, etc. It also encourages children to look forward to certain things!
I would love to know any routines your family has!