Bedtime. Probably one of your child’s most dreaded words. While your child may kick and scream at the mere mumbling of the word bedtime, you should feel confident as a parent knowing that you’re instilling a sense of routine with your child. Setting up consistent daily routines for children has many benefits for both you and your family and ultimately helps your child grow as an individual.
One of the main benefits a daily routine brings to family life is that it allows children to feel a sense of safety and security. So much of being young is learning about the unknown and experiencing new things, but that can also mean fear, anxiety, or stress for your child. A routine allows for some of that unknown to be removed and replaced with something familiar and expected, which, in turn, will help your child feel safe.
Another benefit of routines is that they help to establish household expectations. Practicing the habit of “clean-up time” after playing with toys or brushing teeth before bed helps children understand that these things are expected and help contribute to the normalcy of the family. Establishing these kinds of things in your child’s routine will greatly help them understand what is normal and what is expected from them at a young age.
Routines by nature put a type of schedule in place for the daily happenings of your family. While it is important to remember flexibility is key for a routine, consistent routines will help your child identify and realize what is important to your family and what bonds you together. Maybe its family dinner at the table, game night on Friday, or reading a story before bedtime together. Whatever it may be, making these type of activities a consistent part of your child’s daily routine will help them understand what it is that truly brings you together as a family.
Ultimately, routines do a lot of good when it comes to organizing your family life, but also for the development of your child. It’s important to implement routines from an early age so children begin to understand there are situations that remain constant in an ever-changing world, what is expected of them at what times, and what brings their family together. So, next time your child whines or fights when it’s time for bedtime, just remember to stay strong and that the routine you’re practicing is helping your child grow and learn about the world around them.