Being a parent can be overwhelming with everything you have to do.
If only your child would listen and cooperate.
Aha, there is a solution! Routines.
Many parents rely on daily routines, charts, and checklists to get kids organized for the morning, after school, and at bedtime. These tools are also great for helping with chores.
Yeah, your child will probably resist, so it’s tempting not to enforce this new procedure. This is especially true for parenting a strong-willed child.
But stick with it!
And it’s never too early to establish routines for kids, even with toddlers. You can start simply and then add items as they grasp each step.
Read below to see why routines are important.
11 Benefits of Routines
With all of the following benefits, it’s easy to see why routines for children are worth creating—and enforcing.
1) Sets Expectations
Life is full of uncertainties.
That’s for sure! And this is especially true for children.
Routines set expectations, create consistency, and provide security.
2) Provides Stability
As children grow, they are confronted with many changes. Their life is full of constant and unexpected unknowns.
A routine offers a child structure in their unstructured world.
It provides stability by giving children control over part of their environment.
3) Creates a System
Routines simplify multiple steps into a manageable system.
It’s like pushing a pre-programmed button and creating a flow where one activity leads to the next. Your child sees a pattern rather than having to remember several individual steps.
4) Reduces Stress
Instead of constantly nagging, “Do this! Do that!” a routine changes a parent’s role from dictator to coach.
With established guidelines, things run more smoothly. Now it’s easier for kids to understand their role… and easier for parents to enforce the rules.
Related Post: Stress Relief for Kids: Playful Breathing Exercises
5) Establishes Key Habits
A routine teaches a child what needs to get done. It also develops competency with important real-world tasks.
For instance, how to get ready in the morning, prepare for bedtime, do chores, and perform other daily living activities.
If your child is too young to read, include images on your chart. Now toddlers will be able to “read” each item.
6) Teaches Responsibility
Routines work well because they outline expectations in an easy-to-follow format.
And these expectations will follow your child throughout their life.
By encouraging your child to follow a routine, you’re teaching them to be responsible.
7) Teaches Time Management
When a child has a routine, they learn how long it takes to tackle each item on the list.
They learn to plan and develop time management skills.
And these are key tools they’ll use their entire life.
8) Fosters Independence
“Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.”
—Ancient Chinese proverb
A routine guided a child, teaches what needs to be done, and fosters independence.
Yeah, it’s easier to just do things for your child.
But that’s a disservice in the long run. We need to resist the inclination to do everything.
It’s more important to encourage independence, so a child can be self-sufficient.
And kids love being in charge of themselves!
All of this results in pride… which brings me to the next point.
9) Enhances Self-Esteem
Children feel a greater sense of self-worth when they accomplish things on their own.
Let’s face it, we can’t be there for our kids all of the time—and certainly not when they’re in school, college, and later in life.
Instilling confidence in your child provides them with the necessary tools for handling situations and life’s challenges.
10) Empowers Children
I highly recommend collaborating with your child to develop routine charts and checklists.
Yes, this will take longer, but it’s worth the extra time. By involving children in the process, you solicit their ideas, get them on board, and empower them.
Luckily, Pinterest offers tons of routine printables. You can select them with your child or use them as examples to customize for your family’s needs.
11) Allows for Family Connecting Time
As a child masters a routine, they’ll accomplish each task in less time.
Yay, you’ll have more quality time for connecting!
Do you have any favorite routines? Please share in the comments below.
My Trick with Routines
I’m a mom with two grown kids, and I relied on routines to keep things running as smoothly as possible. But I also invented games to get my kids on board.
That’s right, games.
We had a morning racing game, a nighttime fun incentive, and an odd-even chore reward system.
As a stressed-out single parent, this playful approach was a lifesaver. Goodbye power struggles.
I share this technique in Parenting—Let’s Make a Game of It. Parents are super busy and most don’t have time to read. That’s why I wrote an easy-to-read book with super short, light-hearted chapters and a snarky “let’s-be-real” tone.
In only 5-10 minutes, you’ll learn clever ways to get toddlers, school-age children, and even headstrong kids to cooperate—willingly! You can read whenever you’re waiting or have a spare moment.
You’ll have more fun as a parent, empower your kids, and spend more quality time connecting.
“This book will help anyone struggling with the challenges of raising young children. Through stories, parents will discover how to turn tears and conflict into joyful connection and positive change.” –Dr. Cheryl B. Lamin, psychologist
Still not sure? Read a sample chapter. In a few minutes, you’ll gain new insights… and have a few laughs.