As an adult, and a Type A personality, routines are everything to me. I plan everything out, down to the hours, and live by calendars. As a parent, learning why routines are important for children is something that took me a little while. Now, I would not parent without them!
We recently visited our family back in WA state, and my mom brought up an interesting viewpoint. She noticed that even while traveling, I keep my kids on the same routine as much as possible so that when vacation is over and it is back to reality, it isn’t as much of a shock to them.
Today, I wanted to share how routines have worked for our family, and my thoughts behind why routines are so important for children, as a mother of four under the age of 6.
Why Routines Are Important For Children
- Children learn what parents teach. If we are showing them that going to bed at random times of the night is the way to do it, then they won’t ever learn what a bed time is. I know that for my kiddos, having set bed time has helped a ton with the arguments that occur, especially in my older girls. Although, our 3YO twins still argue nightly when they have to go to bed, they fall asleep almost immediately. Getting to stay up a little later has become a privilege and a sort of reward system for our older two (4 and 6). Developing a good routine because we, as their parents, taught it to them, allows them to have a sense of structure and pushes them to create good habits for themselves.
- It gives them necessary breaks during the day. For young children, I have found that whether they think so or not, naps are CRUCIAL to their sanity, and mine. If not, they go downhill quickly. Their attitudes drastically change, they get fussy, and then they don’t sleep as well at night because they are overtired. Or, they pass out in random places, like off the edge of the bed, or sitting up on the couch.
- It helps increase their motivation and aids in developing time management. This is especially true when they reach the school-age years and they have to get up, every day, to do the same thing. Then, come home every day to get home work done and do it all over again. Having a routine during the school week is something that I found extremely helpful in order for our 6YO to feel like she wasn’t rushing to get things done, or overwhelming herself with tasks at the end of the week.
Some of the specific routines that we have in our house are:
- Bed time routine
- Naptime routine (3YO twins)
- School Week Routine (We used it for my oldest and now my almost 5YO will be starting Kindergarten as well)
- Routine when we get home from a trip
- Meals are almost always at the same time every day
Routine will help your kids all the way through school and into adulthood. Doing this has significantly helped our family, and has helped me as a mom. Plus, there is not a lot of room for inconsistency in parenting when it comes to routines because they are all set. I will be chatting more about that in an upcoming blog post, so be sure to subscribe to our email list if you’re not already!
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What are some of the routines that you use in your household?
*Cheers to setting schedules and maintaining sanity*