How A Routine Gives Children a Sense of Security and Develops Self Discipline
Routine plays a vital part in a child’s life. As they grow up, their body keeps changing on them constantly and so does everything around them. They learn new skills with every passing day and then it becomes part of their routine. This routine is what gives them a sense of organization, stability, and comfort.
Change is handled best if it is expected and occurs during a familiar routine. A regular schedule and a common routine helps children feel safe while they learn to develop self discipline and master handling their lives on their own. During this process, they deal with all the larger changes they encounter such as walking to school by themselves, paying for goods at the counter, etc. However, they still find it hard to cope with the unpredictable changes that occur in their lives such as parents divorcing or a best friend moving. It sometimes leaves a huge impact on them.
Definitely, all the changes cannot be avoided. This is why predictable routines play an important role in the lives of children so that using them as a base they can manage and face all the big changes that they need to. Steady routines have a lot of other benefits for children.
Eliminate anxiety, provide security
Ever wondered why do children ask questions like, “Are we there yet?” or “When are we going to leave?” over and over again? It is because they are always anxious to know what is coming next. It is definitely not pleasing to the ears hearing the same questions again and again and again throughout the whole day especially with such tiring schedules, but it is important for you to always answer your child back. Knowing what is going to happen next or what is coming their way is going to reduce their anxiety level as they will no longer stay in the dark. They will no longer be uncertain. They will feel safe.
Knowing that you are going to have a relaxing day at office, or knowing that you will not have to wake up early to prepare breakfast for everyone because it is an off is definitely going to make you feel less stressed. Knowing what is going to happen and how things are going to go is sure to make everything easier for you.
Similarly, this works for children too, especially since they do not know how everything works. For example, trying a new fruit can be as scary for a child as significant change in life because both these things are not known to them. So, even small things leave an impact on them, therefore, you must try and establish a healthy routine for them to make their life easier.
If you tell your child that they have to go school at the same time every morning, it is more likely to make them cooperate as they get dressed on time and get punctual. Reminding them again and again that you are going to leave for school in twenty minutes is going to encourage and help them learn to manage their own time. It will develop consistency in their behavior and they will learn to manage more things at one time.
Easy to get things done
A routine simply tells your child about all the things they need to do within a certain time period. For example, they will know that when they wake up, before coming down for breakfast they must make their bed, and then get dressed for school making sure their school bag is ready and their homework is complete. Plus, they must be ready before time. Not having a set routine will mean that you have to rush to drop them to school every morning so that they do not get late.
Help build self-confidence
Children like collecting praises for themselves. So, if they have a normal daily routine, they can complete more tasks on their own. This way they start taking more responsibility and if they accomplish all the tasks assigned to them successfully, your compliments will always build more self-confidence in them.
Help teach organization
By establishing a routine for your child, you let them know how important organization is for the smooth running of life. For example, proper bedtime routines or mealtime routines help in preparing them to be organized individuals in the future which will play a significant role in their success. They will learn to keep their things in place unlike children who grow up in chaotic and messy homes.
Can be flexible
It is best to establish routines for your children that are flexible and your children do not feel that you are keeping them inside a box. It is not necessary for them to go to sleep early every night sometimes you must let them stay up, for at least one night, to watch a movie together. Do not be very strict. Give them freedom to a certain extent. It is important to maintain a healthy relationship. Keep a balance and set such routines that are beneficial for your children.
What you need to do
- Set regular sleep and meal programs for your children from the very beginning so that as they grow old they develop a habit of leading up to these activities.
- Make sure that you all sit down together at the dinner table and talk to each other. Listen to your children’s feelings and whenever possible add a little more responsibility in their routine for example helping to set the table, etc.
- Emphasize on establishing and maintaining proper bedtime, mealtime and bathing routines. Tell them the importance of cleanliness in daily life and that it is essential to stay healthy.
- Be prepared to show some leniency where required. Remember, they are children after all. They may be getting real tired at the end of the day, so they must be allowed to skip dinner table family time some day if they go to sleep early. They can afford to miss it in return for some quality sleep.
© Teresa Boardman, Nanny Options.