Children have so much to learn about the world and themselves, making them naturally curious and excited. Whether they’re at home or in preschool, one crucial way to help your child develop mentally and emotionally is to give them a routine. If you’ve needed motivation to establish or improve upon yours, understanding its advantages will help.
How Do Children Benefit From Routines?
A sense of security and organization is imperative to the mental and emotional health of people in general. Helping young children become accustomed to going about their day in a certain order often provides exactly the sense of stability and safety they need.
Routines are also a way for children to learn about planning. If they know what to expect, they can better predict and prepare for it. Kids can become more independent and self-assured because they know what comes next and can act upon it themselves.
An organized day further lets children learn about what behavior is expected of them and then practice fulfilling those expectations. For example, if they only go to preschool or child care centers intermittently, it will be harder for them to master their social, cognitive, and motor skills in group settings. Participating in daycare and preschool programs regularly gives them a better opportunity to thrive in this setting.
How Can You Create & Keep a Routine?
Routines aren't only about doing the same things in the same order each day. Establishing an effective one is simple enough if you keep a few best practices in mind:
Use rituals. Associate certain actions and behavioral expectations with specific events. For instance, having a regular order for putting on pajamas, brushing teeth, reading a book, and singing a song can signal that it’s time to calm down for bed.
Give your child responsibilities. This helps your child understand why each part of the routine is important and how they're supposed to act.
Allow for preparation. Let your child know at least 10 or 15 minutes ahead of time when they're about to move on to something else so that they're less likely to be distressed or unpleasantly surprised. Also, explain to them in advance if your plans will be different from usual on a particular day.
Do something as a family at the same time daily. For example, have distraction-free meals together at predictable times.
Keep a simple calendar. Draw pictures together of a preschool, grocery store, cleaning supplies, and other objects that represent the things you'll do and the order that you'll do them on certain days. That way, your child can follow along more easily.
If you’d like to take your child to a preschool that uses normal routines to encourage positive mental and emotional development, contact Merry Manor School of Childhood in Lincoln, NE. With their creative curriculum consisting of art, music, and other disciplines, they’ll learn important skills while having fun with their peers, preparing them to excel academically and socially. For details, call them today at (402) 466-2215. Learn more about the team online.