After the past 12 months of changing routines, you must admit that sameness is far more comforting than change. You set your alarm clock every night. Each morning you take a shower, have a cup of coffee, and dress for work. You take the same bus or train to work every day. You arrive on time, and you perform the same job duties all day long. Your days are manageable and comfortable because you know the routine, and you take it step-by-step. For the same reasons, your child needs a routine too.

Of course, your child needs a routine, and she follows her routine every day. It’s not as complex as yours, but it’s just as important. She gets out of bed, eats her breakfast, washes her face, and brushes her teeth. She dresses without help and tries to be ready when it’s time to go to school.

At school, your child has playtime, storytime, snack time, and nap time. Just like you, your child performs a step-by-step routine that helps her grow a little more confident each day.

Routine is an important learning tool

On the face of it, everyday routine seems boring. It’s a pattern of doing the same things in the same ways, but the pattern changes over time. For your child, routines become a pathway to self-sufficiency and independence. They teach her patience and flexibility. They help her master one set of skills, so she will be even more prepared to master another.

The Head Start article, The Importance of Schedules and Routines, discusses the benefits of childhood routines and schedules. As the article explains, both play important roles at home and in group care environments.

  • Scheduling is the “big picture” of daily activities.
  • Routines are the steps taken to comply with the schedule.
  • Routines give children “a predictable day.”
  • They help children feel safe.
  • Routines provide opportunities to develop independence.
  • They help children develop strong relationships and a sense of belonging.

Routines encourage quality outcomes

The Psychology Today article, Build Routines Early, Build Skills for the Future, discusses studies that explore family routines and future outcomes. Based on her research, Jennifer Weil Malatras, Ph.D., sees consistent, predictable family routines as self-regulation and time management factors.

She found that families who follow routines (dining, bedtimes, etc.) have fewer depression symptoms and behavioral problems. Family routines also promote healthier behaviors and better habits.

Contact The Learning Center

To learn more about why your child needs a routine, contact TLC. Complete our contact form or call us at one of the locations listed on our Contact Page.