When I taught elementary school, I worked with two other teachers: Miss Dawn and Miss Melissa. These women were absolutely amazing at what they did. They were caring, creative, and worked tirelessly to help our students succeed. Thanks to them and the classroom routines they established, our classroom ran like clockwork.
Our routine worked like this: every morning, students would enter the classroom, store their backpack and coats in their cubby, and wash their hands. Then, they’d grab their planner and meet with a teacher to plan their day. Work time in Montessori schools is relatively unstructured, so planning their day in advance gave students the chance to create and follow their ideal routine.
About thirty minutes before school let out for the day, we began our afternoon routine. Students would clean up whatever they were working on, complete their assigned classroom job, then grab a book and wait patiently for a parent to come pick them up.
School isn’t the only place that kids benefit from a routine. Having a consistent schedule to follow at home gives kids a sense of security that can be hard to find in our crazy, technological world. Routines also help kids develop healthy habits, learn time management skills, and gain a greater sense of independence.
Without further ado, here are eight benefits of routines for kids.
1. Routines Encourage Better Sleep
The human body is a pretty miraculous thing. Just like a clock, it follows a 24-hour cycle called a circadian rhythm. This cycle tells a child’s body when it’s time to sleep and digest food. It also “regulates hormones to suit normal energy expenditure,” according to the Sleep Foundation.
Following a routine helps kids maintain a steady circadian rhythm and avoid serious sleeping problems. Encourage your kids to set a schedule with a consistent bedtime and morning wake time. This will help their body receive the rest it needs so your kiddo can get up and enjoy every single day.
2. Routines Provide Relief from Anxiety
We’re living in the midst of a global pandemic—and I don’t mean COVID-19. I’m talking about anxiety.
According to the CDC, approximately 9.4% of American kids aged 3–17 have been diagnosed with anxiety. Online games, social media, and cyberbullying all contribute to the recent influx in childhood anxiety diagnoses. If your child lives with an influx of anxious and overwhelming thoughts, a routine could help them calm their fears.
A recent study conducted at Tel Aviv University found evidence that predictable, repetitive routines are calming and help reduce anxiety. Knowing what’s on their schedule helps kids set their expectations early, giving them the chance to breathe and prepare for what’s coming next.
3. Routines Help Kids Complete Tasks Independently
Do you ever get tired of reminding your kids to brush their teeth before bed? A routine could help them accomplish tasks like this on their own.
When kids consistently follow a routine, certain tasks become second nature. You might not believe it at first, but over time they’ll brush their teeth, get dressed, and clean up their toys without needing a reminder.
Completing tasks alone also gives kids a sense of independence. Learning how to function independently is an important developmental milestone. It increases a child’s sense of task-mastery, boosts their self-esteem, and prepares them for the future. And we can’t forget this added bonus: the more independent your kids are, the more time you get to follow your own routine!
4. Routines Give a Child’s Life Structure.
Kids thrive when life has structure. One of the most important reasons to introduce a routine into your child’s life is to give them the structure necessary to help them feel safe and secure. According to psychotherapist Amy Morin, routines help kids feel “free to focus on managing [their] behavior, rather than worrying about what’s expected of [them].”
5. Routines Help Kids Develop Healthy Habits
Having healthy habits is the secret to a happy life. According to Healthline, it takes the average person about 66 days to form a new habit; that’s where the routine comes in.
Routines help kids power through these 66 days. Certain tasks will start to become habitual before they even realize it! Here are some healthy habits that kids can learn from routines:
- brushing their teeth
- waking up early
- exercising regularly
- spending time outside
- drinking water
- eating fruits and veggies
- completing homework
- limiting screen usage
6. Routines Teach Kids Self-Discipline
Following a routine requires a lot of self-discipline. As kids get older and more independent, their routine helps them exercise their self-discipline and develop strong time management skills. Kids with a strong sense of self-discipline are able to make smart choices, regulate their emotions, and manage their time efficiently and effectively.
7. Routines Give Kids a Sense of Stability in Times of Stress
Life is often unpredictable. Routines give kids a sense of stability when they’re faced with sudden changes—changes like an international pandemic.
Like most of us, kids deal with unpredictable changes best when these changes happen in the context of their routine. Knowing they have the routine to fall back on helps children predict what’s coming next. This sense of normalcy and stability can provide them comfort, helping them manage stress in the face of chaos.
8. Routines Help You Connect with Your Kids
When I was a kid, I made a vow to hug my mom at least once a day. It sounds cheesy (and it probably is), but adding this simple task to my routine ensured that my mom and I got to spend a few moments together every single day.
Life can get pretty hectic, and it’s easy to miss out on connection when you’re focused on moving your kiddo from one task to the next. Instead of breezing by these opportunities to connect, make them part of your routine! Give your child a hug before they go to school, say a few words before dinner, or take time to read them a story before bed each night.
Troomi Helps Kids Develop Consistent Routines
There are so many ways that routines can benefit a child’s life, from helping them succeed in school to giving them a sense of independence. Unfortunately, it can be hard to remain consistent with a routine.
That’s where Troomi comes in.
Smartphones from Troomi Wireless help your child stay consistent with their routine. The built-in Calendar and Clock apps make it easy for kids to manage their time and move from one task to another. Add in KidSmart® Apps like ColorNote, Headspace, and Google Classroom, and your child will be a routine master in no time!
Click here to learn a bit more about how Troomi can help your child be the best they can be.
Then slide on back to the Troomi Blog for some more parenting tips and tricks that you won’t want to miss.