18th June 2017
Whether you are a parent to a baby /a toddler or a kid any other age,the most generously given advise to you has to be – “You know ,you must get the kids on to a routine if you don’t want trouble later on ”
Setting children into routines? Easier said than done! The daily rigmarole, your work pressure, health issues, family ideas, beliefs and pressures are all as if conniving together to give you excuses to give up. They all seem to be bent upon making you loosen up your disciplined ,schooled self.While I completely empathise and sympathise with you -having gone through the entire work vs house duties vs child duties and affection vs tiredness vs relaxed discipline cycle myself- fact remains – ROUTINES are very important for children for their balanced growth into healthy, sound teenagers and later on adults.
The entire process of growing up right from the baby’s birth is marked with CHANGE in every aspect of his life.Physical, mental, social and emotional growth all have CHANGE associated with them on almost daily basis. From giving up bottles to their standing as babies of the house to new skills learnt to accepting new people in their lives -read friends, teachers – to coming to terms with their wide range of emotions,childhood is not easy for children.
Routines, while setting children onto the path of RIGHT growth also provide just the right amount of prompting to catch the RIGHT path to growth.
Why are Routines important for Children
- Children are scared of change. Routines make them aware of what to expect, thus making themcomfortable and secure in their worlds.
- When children know what is expected of them, they are able to live up to those expectations. So Routines work towards makingchildren self confident and foster independence.
- Routines help kids totake charge of their own activities, thus helping them develop self discipline. If followed regularly, kids learn to brush teeth, wash, get ready for bed, pack bags in whatever order you prefer without constant reminders. Kids love to be in-charge!
4. Thus, Routines eliminate unnecessary nagging.You are not Ms No all the time. Activities like napping, TV watching, doing homework, playing go on as casually as possible. Parents stop being the BAD guys.
5. Routines reduce stress and anxiety for everyone. Kids cooperate and all know what comes next. So no one feels pushed.
6. Routines help Parents maintain consistency in their expectations.
7. Success in performing small tasks in Routines strengthen children and lay the foundation for rising to bigger challenges when required .Tasks like going to school alone etc come in gradual progression.
8. Routines also help parents incorporate in them special connecting moments like-a hug on meeting for the first time in the morning or/and touching feet of elders or a naming body parts ritual as you dry them after bath(let’s dry your toes…) …
9. Routines make kids learn the concept of looking forward to things they enjoy.
10. Routines help your children and their body clocks settle. Ability to nap, eat healthy etc are all linked to routines.
11. Routines help children get onto a schedule – Note : schedules and routines are two different entities.
12. Last but not the least Routines bond families together – Children build life long associations to routines like entire family having dinner together.
Having listed and maybe imbibed the above, it is also a must to realize that too much structure dulls our and children’s sense of spontaneity .So set in routines but with sensitivity, don’t be oppressive be flexible too. Enjoy the bumps and mishaps. Setting routines takes time, effort and consistency .Start now, even babies and toddlers can be set to routines. Be patient, praise effort not result, focus on what is going well and thus see your children thrive on routines.