If you have ever broken the rules and let your kids stay up later than usual on a school night only to have tremendous difficulty getting them out the door the next day, you can attest to the importance of keeping up with your family’s daily routines. Routines not only help you cope as a parent; they also promote social and emotional well-being in your children, especially when your kids are very young.
Routines are how families organize themselves, not only to help daily activities run smoothly, but also to enable them to spend time together and have fun, says the Raising Children Network. Here are some examples of great daily routines for families to follow from The Bump:
- Eating — Keep meal and snack times regular to avoid children getting into the habit of eating at other times out of boredom. Offer a variety of healthy options at every meal or snack to get children used to eating foods that are good for them.
- Exercise — Include an outdoor activity once or twice a day where children can run, play ball, or enjoy some other physical activity for at least an hour. Make sure you include plenty of other unplanned, brief activities to get your children moving throughout the day, too.
- Bedtime — Lead up to bedtime with calming activities such as a warm bath and a story. Be sure to put your child to bed at the same time each night.
It’s true that starting routines like these for your family can be a bit of a challenge, but with a little guidance, you can make it work. Healthy Children says including regular unconditional fun time; providing kids with staggered warning when it’s almost time to switch activities; and setting achievable goals will help keep the entire family motivated, can be a huge help in developing routines that will work for your family.
The best part about establishing daily routines for your family, though, is the many benefits to routines provide. Building Blocks explains that daily routines can provide the following benefits:
- Daily routines help children develop a sense of trust and safety.
- They teach kids about working toward goals. Kid Pointz has some great charts to download that can help kids in sticking with their routines and working toward a goal.
- And daily routines help children learn about patterns for social interactions, which leads to improved social skills.
What daily routines does your family follow? Share them with us, as well as tips for you have for creating routines for your family, in the comments section below.