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Children: Routine and Boundaries

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

Why do children need routine and boundaries whilst growing up?

Routine provides children a sense of security and helps them to develop self-discipline. The best way children can handle change is if it’s expected and occurs in the context of a familiar routine.

A predictable routine allows children to feel safe, and to develop a sense of mastery in handling their lives – once mastery is strengthened they become more confident within themselves and can grasp the idea of being more independent.

Having a routine is important. If Mom and Dad separate and divorce, this can have an affect on the child as their sense of safety and security can decrease. Thus leaving the child feeling anxious and less able to cope with the vicissitudes of life. Both structure and routine teach kids how to constructively control themselves and their environments.

To summarise: Kids from chaotic homes with not much routine or organisation are less likely to develop basic self-care routines such as – grooming to food. They may find it hard to take care of themselves as adults.

Here are six benefits from keeping good routines:

1. Routines eliminate power struggles


Routines eliminate power struggles because you aren’t bossing them around. This activity (brushing teeth, napping, turning off the TV to come to dinner) is just what we do at this time of day. The parent stops being the bad guy, and nagging is greatly reduced.

2. Routines help kids cooperate


Routines help kids cooperate by reducing stress and anxiety for everyone. We all know what comes next, we get fair warning for transitions, and no one feels pushed around, or like parents are being arbitrary.

3. Routines help kids learn to take charge of their own activities.


Over time, kids learn to tie their laces, brush their teeth, pack their backpacks, etc., without constant reminders. Kids love being in charge of themselves. This feeling increases their sense of mastery and competence. Kids who feel more independent and in charge of themselves have less need to rebel and be oppositional.

4. Kids learn the concept of “looking forward”


Kids learn the concept of “looking forward” to things they enjoy, which is an important part of making a happy accommodation with the demands of a schedule. He may want to go to the playground now, but he can learn that we always go to the playground in the afternoon, and he can look forward to it then.

5. Regular routines help kids get on a schedule


Regular routines help kids get on a schedule, so that they fall asleep more easily at night.

6. Routines help parents build in those precious connection moments.


We all know we need to connect with our children every day, but when our focus is on moving kids through the schedule to get them to bed, we miss out on opportunities to connect. If we build little connection rituals into our routine, they become habit. Try a snuggle with each child when you first see them in the morning, or a “recognition” ritual when you’re first reunited.

Source: Aha! Parenting.com

So, how can you create a routine for your child?

A great way to create routines is by using a ‘routine chart’ which is easy to create and fun for the children. Here are some ideas for your routine chart:

  • getting dressed
  • putting pajamas’s away
  • making the bed/cleaning up room
  • clearing table after breakfast
  • brushing teeth
  • chores

A morning chart could look like this:

Morning Routine Printable
Using times and images will help children recognise their routine. If you cannot make your own charts, please click here for more great routine charts!

Source: Parentingsquad.com

One response to “Children: Routine and Boundaries”

  1. […] function best when things around them are familiar which is why it’s always best to stick to a familiar routine. Unfamiliar events can make them feel stressed which means you might have hyped-up or irritable […]

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