If you, like most of the seven billion people around the world, are a creature of habit, you most likely have a daily schedule that keeps you going. Routines are great – they are helpful in helping us predict what is going to happen, and this reduces the stress we have to deal with.
For young children such as babies and toddlers, routine is even more important. In the big and scary world, the unknown can be upsetting. Even something as simple as trying a new food item can become an area of contempt for both parents and their children. Here are some more reasons why daily routines are so important.
Streamlines the Body Clock
Incorporating a consistent schedule can help to fine-tune the body clock for daily basic activities, such as knowing when to sleep and wake, eat meals, shower, and go to the bathroom.
With a pre-prescribed timetable, your toddler would be less prone to fighting against his or her body clock. For example, as night falls, your child will know that it is time for bed, and will object less to being asked to keep the toys and prepare for bed.
A routine chart is also a great way to keep track of responsibilities – you can create your own or easily find templates online to get started.
Improves Family Bonding
If your family’s routine is to have Saturdays as the de facto family-day-out, your toddler can also become more involved in the activities. When the weekend comes along, he will start to expect that the entire family will be spending time together. As such, the chances of participation will also likely increase.
As time passes, your child will start to take note of these special bonding sessions and pick up on these traditions.
Creates Calmer Children
Instead of having to enter a tug-of-war with your child every time you need him to do something, daily routines allow you to set expectations from the very beginning. Because your toddler knows that to expect, there will also be less stress, meltdowns, and pushbacks.
Builds Confident Minds
According to research, routine behaviour can actually lead to an improved sense of safety, confidence, and overall well being. The benefits of having a standard routine stems from the fact as time passes, you will be able to trust your toddler to be independent. This gives him a sense of empowerment and control over his daily life.
It is not just your child – as a parent with many responsibilities, having a clear structure and planned activities lets you focus your energy on other areas. Additionally, there are also many mental health benefits of having a routine, including better health and sleep.
Establish Healthy Habits
Habits are formed through repetition, and good habits go the same way. With a defined schedule, your child will learn to pick up important life skills and good habits such as hand washing or tooth brushing. You can even instill time management skills in them – knowing when his playtime will be ending helps your toddler relish in the moment and then pack up when it is time. As they grow older, they will also likely develop skills that will motivate them to study and more.
Set Your Daily Routines Early
In order for a structure to stick, you will need to implement them early and consistently, and communicate them as clearly as you can. You now know the benefits and importance of daily routines, but sometimes it may be hard to implement and follow through with them. For example, despite your best efforts in getting your toddler to go to bed, there may be times when you feel as if you are constantly dealing with a child that never sleeps.
When you encounter such issues, try to identify the areas where you can make things easier for both you and your toddler such as making sure the bedroom is conducive for a restful sleep. You can consider investing in high quality bedroom furniture such as the children’s loft beds from Palette Box, or roping your child in when planning daily activities.
Daily routines are extremely teachable moments for toddlers, and the benefits of implementing them are far-reaching. As the months go by, you will start to notice what works and what does not, and you can then alter them as you go along.