There have been countless times where I have skipped out on hanging with friends, going to an event, or hosting at our house for the sake of keeping our kids' routines in order. It makes me seem like the "uptight" mom or some may go as far to say it puts me in the category with "helicopter moms." If it means my days have minimal stress for myself and my kids, I'll take it. I'll be THAT mom for the sake of peace.
As an educator, I have naturally been conditioned to think schedules, routines, and plans. It's what I've been doing for years in my classroom. My knowledge about classroom management helped me at home, once I had kids of my own. While my home "classroom" is not as strictly ran as my school classrooms would be, I still incorporate many of the same practices. Here are 3 ways that having a daily routine for your kids can create a sense of peace in your home.
- Routines create balance between functional and fun tasks
Have you ever abruptly turned the TV off while a 3 year old was watching their favorite show or taken away a tablet? It likely led to a meltdown and rebellious behaviors, right? Their was no expectation set and no concept of why, all of a sudden, their beloved Mickey Mouse Clubhouse had to be turned off. In their minds, nothing else is important or necessary. Having a daily routine allows the parent to create a balance between everyday tasks and fun experiences. As this is being established, there becomes a sense of understanding that functional tasks like brushing teeth, cleaning toys, completing school work, etc. are a normal part of the day and must be done. They also begin to grasp that there is a time for play, tablet time, outside time, and so on. The fight to stop these activities weakens when they know &
trust they will come again.
- Routines reduce stress levels
If you think having a routine and perfectly planned schedule in the key to perfect parenting, spoiler alert, it's not!!! We can mindfully prep and plan every single day of our child's lives but we can not include the moments of chaos that are bound to happen. When parents are confident in their daily routine, it shows. Our kid's pick up on that confidence. The predictable routine that you create for them begins to build trust and allows them to feel secure. They know that you will come through for their everyday needs & feed their desire for play. Going back to my opening statements, THIS is why I go so hard for our routines. I notice less stress for the whole family when everybody knows what to expect each day.
- Routines help your child establish independence and self-confidence
As their daily routine becomes second nature to them, your child will begin to feel in charge. Nobody likes to be told what to do, especially not our kids. Because they know what to expect, they will begin to do those things on their own and feel in charge. Some quick examples, my oldest wakes up and brushes her teeth before coming in my room because she knows I'll ask. Where she used to say "oh, I forgot." It's not "yes ma'm, I already brushed them," with pride. For younger children, they feel empowered to help with tasks that they know are coming. My 1 year old feels more comfortable during his playtime because he now knows that this is something we do everyday. I'll still be right here. Even our littlest ones have a desire for self-confidence.
"Routines are structured daily habits."
No matter your living situation, career, or expectations for your kids, having a routine can be beneficial for you and them. Please keep in mind that a routine and a schedule are two very different things. Don't get hung up on trying to plan out every second of your day. You will drive yourself crazy trying to uphold that everyday. Routines are structured daily habits.
Drop a comment if you have any questions about creating routines for your children. If you already have one, I'd love to hear how it helps you navigate from day to day.