The unknown is scary, especially for children. When they don’t know what’s going to happen next in their day, they can feel fearful and out of control. This can lead to temper tantrums. Creating consistent routines can help them feel more in control and reduce outbursts.
Family routines help strengthen your bond with your child by building in time together throughout your busy days. Structure can also increase your child’s self-confidence and sense of belonging. As children grow, routines help them gain independence and adjust to change more easily. You don’t have to create a bunch of new routines at once. Try starting with one, and slowly add more over time if they work for you and your family.
Some of the most common routines take place around daily or weekly activities like mealtime, bath time, and bedtime. But you can also create routines around activities like going to the park, playing outside, going to daycare, or even taking them to your co-parent’s home to visit or stay. Routines don’t have to be long to work.
Ready to build a new routine? You can get started in three steps:
Identify the routine you want to develop. Perhaps it’s spending 15 minutes reading together before bedtime each night.
Talk about the routine with your child. Let them know you’re excited to spend more time with them, and you’re going to start reading a book of their choice every night before bedtime while you snuggle together.
Keep up with the routine as much as you can.
Once you have this routine established, you can try adding in another one!