Apr 10 , 2022
We all strive for a sense of security, and that it’s achieved with routines because since we were kids, we were afraid of the unknown, no matter if that it’s the new brussels sprouts on the plate or the new crying baby in the home, or the new school we must attend from now on. Also, familiar and predictable activities can offer security and confidence during uncertain or challenging times (like the pandemic or moving to a new place).
On the other hand, we are told every day that change and stepping out of our comfort zone is a chance to progress and learn new things. But for young children, that comes with a lot of stress, and when the “new” it’s not carefully incorporated into their life, that brings fear and instability that you’ll definitely see in their behavior.
It’s not about what kind of routines are appropriate for children but rather the process of creating habits that work for you and your little one. We all have incorporated different routines from morning to night routines to keep us secure, on track, and getting things done our way.
Fact: Routines help with self-regulation skills, that is important to mental health.
Why are routines important to babies and toddlers?
It offers a sense of security in their environment,
helping them understand day-to-day activities expected from them. They also have a sense of achievement once they master every routine and make them feel comfortable with their environment.
It helps with emotional and social development.
Toddlers become more independent as they learn and anticipate each routine. Routines reduce tantrums and unwanted behavior by filling their cup of competence and independence.
Gaining a sense of belonging,
by being familiar with routines and activities within the family, developing a relationship with the family members that you all share the same values and beliefs.
Routines keep parents in control, reduce stress,
and make time more pleasant. The simple repetition of daily routines allows parents to avoid parental exhaustion. They know what they are expected from them, like putting away toys they don’t play with anymore, making their bed in the morning, putting their plate in the dishwasher after dinner, etc.
Routines can be fun and strengthen family relationships,
from reading together before night sleep to playing basketball in the backyard and cooking dinner together.
Helps with developing responsibility and learning new basic life skills.
Doing their part with minimal or no supervision at all, young children have a strong sense of independence and learn basic skills such as time management.
Help build healthy habits since toddlerhood,
like brushing their teeth, dressing, preparing meals/snacks, and even going to bed. To make it more fun and easier to do, you can transform it into a play with a Daily Activity Book like this one.
A perfect routine is one that fits your family. It’s well planned, regular, and predictable.
Ideas for daily routines suitable for toddlers and preschoolers:
Encouraging moving during the day, freely or in structured activities like outdoor exercises or playing a sport. This has many benefits, from mental health to muscle development, improving their behavior, and having an example of staying healthy.
We learn from simple to complex things all our lives, so having a positive start in the learning process will help the future adult. Keeping their brain focused and interested is essential, from helping with setting the table to learning a new skill, sport, riding a bike, and so on. Reading a book is learning. Going outside and observing beautiful nature is learning. It’s that simple.
Having a few things done each day the same way and sometimes at the same time helps toddlers know what is expected from them. They have regular interactions with many learning opportunities. Each routine helps with speech and language. They become more independent while improving their self-control. A simple step you could take to help your little one learn new habits in a fun way is the My Daily Activity Book, which is full of learning activities such as brushing their teeth, setting the table, preparing the meal, dressing, and going outside.
Tips to make daily routines simple for all children!
Make routines as straightforward as possible, present them as less of a chore, and have patience since every new routine needs time to become a habit. Adjust on the way and keep it flexible for unplanned events.