As adults, we have the advantage of being able to control many aspects of our lives. We can arrange our schedules to reduce hassle, plan appointments to enhance convenience, and arrange childcare based on work demands. All of these things make life just a little bit easier and probably more enjoyable.
Now, consider these questions:
- How would you feel if you didn’t know what to expect in your day?
- What if you didn’t know why you were leaving the house or where someone was driving you?
- What if you didn’t know where or when you could go to use the restroom?
- What if you didn’t know when you would eat next or who you would eat with?
Children don’t have the privilege of arranging their days the way adults do; they have very little control over their environments. Consequently, children try to find ways to control their surroundings, often resulting in undesirable outcomes like tantrums and defiance.
Routines and schedules help kids make sense of their day–morning, noon, and night–and know what to expect. This reduces anxiety and apprehension, increases independence, and allows more time for kids to enjoy and learn from their surroundings instead of stressing out about them.
Wondering how to set up routines and schedules in your home? Click on the resource link below to explore an informative article from The Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning! It outlines key ways that parents can establish routines with young children to build independence and confidence.
I hope you enjoy this resource! Oh, and be sure to check out their other articles as well. The center offers guidance on a range of topics from teaching children about feelings to responding when your child bites.
*Adapted from: “Ready, Set, Routine” by Maci Elkins, and the CSEFEL.